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SIR  C.  P.  LUCAS,  K.C.B.,  K.C.M.G. 









THE  Sketch  of  Lord  Durham's  Mission  by 
Charles  Buller  is  published — as  far  as  I  am  aware 
for  the  first  time — by  the  kind  permission  of 
Mr.  A.  G.  Doughty,  C.M.G.,  Dominion  Archivist 
at  Ottawa,  to  whom  it  was  given  by  the  present 
Earl  of  Durham. 

My  thanks  are  due  to  him  ;  and  among  many 
friends  in  England  and  Canada  who  have  given  me 
help,  I  must  specially  mention  Professor  Egerton, 
and  Mr.  A.  B.  Keith  of  the  Colonial  Office,  author 
of  Responsible  Government  in  the  Dominions.  I 
have  also  to  thank  Mr.  Henry  Lambert,  C.B.,  of 
the  Colonial  Office,  Mr.  C.  Atchley,  C.M.G.,  I.S.O., 
Librarian  of  the  Colonial  Office,  and  Mr.  H.  P. 
Biggar,  of  the  Dominion  Archives  Department. 

Any  views  expressed  in  the  Introduction  or  the 
Notes  are  my  own  alone. 

C.  P.  LUCAS. 

March  1912 


P.  97,  1.  12.  for  1838  read  1837 




LORD  DURHAM          .......        1 

THE  ACCESSION  OF  QUEEN  VICTORIA         ...      10 


CULTIES IN  THE  CANADAS         ....      24 





The  Scope  of  the  Report  .  .  .  .  .114 
The  Character  of  the  Report  .  .  .  .116 
The  Substance  of  the  Report  .  .  .  .123 
Reunion  of  the  two  Canadas  ....  124 
Responsible  Government  .  .  .  .  .137 

Public  Lands .152 

Emigration         ...  •     188 

Means  of  Communication     ...  .198 

Municipalities  and  Local  Government    .         .         .210 



(Continued) — 


Administration  of  Justice 223 

Education 232 

General  Union  of  British  North  America  .  .  247 
References  to  the  United  States  ....  257 
Colonial  Office  and  Colonial  Administration  .  .266 





OP  HOME  RULE  FOR  IRELAND    .         .         .         .318 

INDEX  .  325 


JOHN  GEORGE  LAMBTON,  first  Earl  of  Durham, 
was  born  in  1792.  He  died  in  1840  at  the  age  of  48. 
He  was  bom  a  year  after  an  Act  had  been  passed 
by  the  Imperial  Parliament  dividing  the  Province 
of  Quebec,  as  it  then  was,  into  the  two  provinces  of 
Upper  and  Lower  Canada,  and  granting  to  either 
province  representative  institutions  without  respon- 
sible government.  In  the  year  in  which  he  died 
another  Imperial  Act  was  passed,  in  consequence 
of  his  own  recommendations,  reuniting  the  two 
provinces  with  a  view  to  granting  to  the  single 
colony  wider  powers  of  self-government. 

He  was  the  son-in-law  of  Lord  Grey,  the  Prime 
Minister  who  carried  the  great  Reform  Bill.  He 
was  the  father-in-law  of  Lord  Elgin,  who,  as 
Governor-General  of  Canada,  made  responsible 
government  in  that  colony  a  reality.  He  was 
the  grandfather  of  the  Secretary  of  State  for  the 
Colonies,  who  gave  responsible  government  to  the 
Transvaal  and  the  Orange  River  Colony.  His  life 
was  comparatively  short :  he  never  held  high 
administrative  office  in  England  :  he  was  a  colonial 
governor  for  only  five  months  :  and  he  gave  to  the 
world  a  state  paper  on  colonial  matters  which  will 
live  to  all  time. 

He  was  educated  at  Eton,  and,  after  two  years 
in  the  Army,  he  was  in  1813  elected  to  the  House 

1352-1  B 


of  Commons  on  the  Whig  or  Liberal  side  as  member 
for  the  county  of  Durham.  In  1828  he  was  made 
a  peer.  In  1830  he  was  included  in  Lord  Grey's 
Cabinet,  being  given  the  sinecure  office  of  Lord 
Privy  Seal,  and  he  was  a  prominent  member  of  the 
Committee  of  Ministers  who  framed  the  Reform 
Bill.  In  1833  he  left  the  Government  and  was 
made  an  Earl.  For  about  two  years,  from  1835-7, 
he  was  Ambassador  to  Russia.  In  January  1838 
he  accepted  the  appointment  of  Governor-General 
of  the  British  North  American  provinces.  He  left 
England  on  the  24th  of  April  1838  ;  he  reached 
Quebec  on  the  27th  of  May.  On  the  29th  of  May 
he  landed  and  was  sworn  into  office.  He  left  again 
for  England  on  the  1st  of  November  following. 
On  the  30th  of  November  he  landed  at  Plymouth. 
His  Report  is  dated  the  31st  of  January  1839  ; 
and  on  the  28th  of  July  1840  he  died. 

Lord  Durham  was  an  aristocrat  in  temper  and 
habits,  lordly  and  imperious,  fond  of  pomp  and 
circumstance.  He  was  a  pronounced  Radical  in 
his  political  creed.  But  he  was  poles  asunder  from 
the  Radicals  of  the  Manchester  School,  and  was 
more  allied  to  such  men  as  Sir  William  Molesworth 
than  to  Richard  Cobden.  He  seems  to  have  been  a 
man  of  high  character,  transparent  honesty,  great 
courage  and  promptness,  and  of  outspoken  con- 
victions, but  masterful  and  arrogant,  with  a  self-will 
intensified  by  want  of  health,  and  by  having  come 
into  his  kingdom  in  early  boyhood.  He  was  a  good 
man  to  serve,  but  a  difficult  man  for  a  colleague, 
a  man  impatient  of  contradiction  and  restraint,  one 
who  made  enemies  and  risked  losing  friends. 


His  life  has  been  fully  told  in  Mr.  Stuart  Reid's 
two  interesting  volumes,  and  no  reference  will  now 
be  made  to  any  of  its  incidents  in  or  out  of  Canada. 
Nor  will  words  be  wasted  upon  the  much-debated 
question  whether  or  not  he  wrote  the  Report  which 
bears  his  signature.  No  one  would  suppose  that 
he  drafted  every  line  of  the  document  himself.  On 
the  other  hand,  to  maintain  that  Lord  Durham,  of 
all  men  in  the  world,  allowed  somebody  else  to 
dictate  what  he  was  to  recommend  is  ridiculous. 
When  dispatches  or  state  papers  are  published 
bearing  the  signature  of  one  minister  or  another, 
it  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  they  have  in  all  cases 
been  written,  word  by  word,  from  beginning  to 
end,  by  the  man  who  signs  them.  Yet  every  such 
document  is  presumed  to  embody  his  instructions, 
to  have  been  under  his  eye,  and  corrected  by  his 
hand,  and,  bearing  his  signature,  is  credited  to 
him  for  good  or  ill.  Whether  Lord  Durham's  own 
pen  actually  wrote  much  or  little  of  the  Report, 
in  form  and  substance  it  is  his  and  his  alone,  able 
as  were  the  members  of  his  staff. 

For  he  seems  to  have  had  the  high  quality  of 
choosing  competent  advisers  and  assistants,  and 
the  courage  or  indiscretion  of  selecting  them  with- 
out regard  to  public  opinion.  The  principal  mem- 
ber of  his  staff  was  Charles  Buller,  pupil  and  friend 
of  Carlyle,  and  satirist  of  the  Colonial  Office,  who 
was  widely  credited  with  being  the  real  author  of 
the  Report,  and  whose  brilliant  promise  was  cut 
short  by  early  death  in  1848.  Next  in  importance 
was  Gibbon  Wakefield,  whose  personal  antecedents 
gave  occasion  for  cavilling  at  his  being  attached  to 

B  2 


Lord  Durham's  Mission,  but  whose  living  and 
stimulating  interest  in  colonial  questions  was 
beyond  dispute.  Durham's  private  secretary  was 
Edward  Ellice  the  younger,  son  of  '  Bear '  Ellice, 
who  had  been  the  whip  in  Lord  Grey's  Ministry, 
and  to  whose  merits  in  the  capacity  of  a  Canadian 
seignior  the  Report  pays  the  graceful  and  kindly 
tribute  of  an  old  friend. 

The  Report  was  published  before  all  the  supple- 
mentary reports  which  form  its  appendices  had 
been  received.  A  list  of  these  appendices  is  given 
in  vol.  iii,  and  the  following  documents  have  been 
reprinted  in  the  hope  that  they  will  be  of  use  and 
interest  to  students  of  colonial,  more  especially  of 
Canadian  history.  From  Appendix  A,  papers  1,  2, 
5,  6,  and  9,  being  Mr.  Hanson's  Report  on  the 
excessive  appropriation  of  public  land  under  the 
name  of  Clergy  Reserves ;  a  special  report  by 
Charles  Buller  on  militia  claims  to  grants  of  land ; 
a  letter  from  Mr.  William  Young  on  the  State  of 
Nova  Scotia;  a  letter  from  the  Roman  Catholic 
Bishop  Macdonell ;  and  an  address  from  the  Con- 
stitutional Association  of  Montreal.  From  Appen- 
dix B,  Charles  Buller's  Report  on  Public  Lands 
and  Emigration  with  the  Royal  Commission  under 
which  Lord  Durham  appointed  him  to  make  the 
Report,  but  without  the  Minutes  of  Evidence. 
Appendix  C,  including  the  Reports  of  the  Com- 
missioners of  Inquiry  into  the  Municipal  Institu- 
tions of  Lower  Canada,  but  excluding  both  the 
Appendix  to  those  reports  and  also  the  Report  from 
the  Anglican  Bishop  of  Montreal  on  the  state  of  the 
Church  within  his  diocese.  From  Appendix  D,  the 


Report  of  the  Commissioner  of  Inquiry  into  the 
state  of  Education  in  Lower  Canada,  without  the 
Returns,  and  an  extract  from  the  Report  on  the 
Jesuits'  Estates.  It  has  also  been  thought  well  to 
reprint  three  dispatches,  dated  20th  January  1838, 
3rd  April  1838,  and  21st  April  1838,  which  embody 
Lord  Glenelg's  instructions  to  Lord  Durham ;  Lord 
Durham's  dispatch  of  9th  August  1838,  in  which  he 
foreshadowed  the  terms  of  his  Report ;  Lord  John 
Russell's  dispatch  of  14th  October  1839  on  the  sub- 
ject of  Responsible  Government ;  and  lastly,  to  add 
Charles  Buller's  sketch  of  Lord  Durham's  Mission. 
The  Report,  clear  and  powerful,  speaks  for  itself, 
but  some  notes  have  been  appended  to  it,  and  in 
this  Introduction  it  is  proposed  to  try  to  answer 
the  following  questions.  (1)  What  were  the  con- 
ditions prevailing  in  the  United  Kingdom  and  in 
the  British  Empire  generally  at  the  time  of  Lord 
Durham's  Mission  ?  (2)  What  was  the  position  in 
the  two  Caiiadas  at  the  time,  and  what  circum- 
stances had  led  up  to  it  ?  (3)  What  were  the  terms 
of  Lord  Durham's  Commission,  and  what  were  his 
instructions  ?  (4)  What  was  in  summary  the  scope, 
the  character,  and  the  substance  of  his  Report  ? 

(5)  How  far,  according  to  the  lights  of  the  present 
day,  did  he  read  the  past  correctly  ?     How  far 
did  he  correctly  forecast  the  future  in  Canada, 
and  how  far  were  his  recommendations  adopted  ? 

(6)  How  far  are  the  principles  laid  down  in  his 
report  of  universal  application  ? 

Before,  however,  dealing  with  these  specific 
questions  it  is  necessary  to  say  a  word  of  general 
caution.  The  popular  view  of  Lord  Durham  and 


his  mission  is  that  an  abnormal  crisis  having 
arisen  in  a  British  colony,  or  a  group  of  British 
colonies,  which  crisis  was  due  in  the  main  to 
ignorance  and  want  of  intelligence  on  the  part  of  the 
rulers  both  in  the  colony  and  at  home,  the  hour 
came  and  the  man  who  discovered  once  for  all  the 
true  principles  of  colonial  administration.  This 
view  needs  to  be  corrected.  The  crisis  in  Canada 
was  only  in  part  abnormal,  though  it  had  attained 
to  undue  proportions.  Discontent  is  the  common 
accompaniment  of  growth.  Given  a  young  man 
or  a  young  community,  with  increasingly  large 
capacities,  and  full  of  life  and  vigour,  then  desire 
for  greater  freedom  and  a  wider  field  of  vitality, 
and  restlessness  until  the  desire  has  been  satisfied, 
is  healthy,  natural,  and  in  no  sense  abnormal. 
Given  again  a  community,  in  which  to  the  desire 
for  a  greater  measure  of  self-government  is  super- 
added  the  further  element  of  friction  caused  by 
rival  races,  in  different  stages  of  development, 
living  side  by  side  in  the  same  country,  and  it  is 
obvious  that  the  restlessness  will  be  intensified. 
The  conditions  in  the  Canadas  which  Lord  Durham 
set  out  to  remedy  were,  therefore,  not  altogether 
abnormal.  They  were  to  some  extent  the  necessary 
outcome  of  the  time  and  place. 

Nor  did  Lord  Durham  achieve  some  wholly  new 
and  wonderful  discovery  when  he  recommended 
the  reunion  of  the  two  provinces,  and  the  grant  of 
self-government  to  Canada.  The  reunion  of  the 
Canadas  had  been  talked  of  almost  from  the  date 
when  they  were  divided  from  each  other  ;  while 
as  far  back  as  1822  a  reunion  bill  had,  on  the 


instance  of  Ellice  the  elder,  been  introduced  into 
the  House  of  Commons  by  the  Tory  Government  of 
the  day,  and,  but  for  the  opposition  of  a  handful 
of  Radical  members  led  by  Sir  James  Mackintosh, 
might  have  been  passed  into  law.  Self-government 
for  the  colonies  again,  in  one  form  or  another,  was 
not  first  conceived  by  Lord  Durham.  His  merit 
consisted  in  the  fact  that,  though  he  had  not  been 
born  and  bred  in  the  colonies,  probably  because  he 
had  not  been  born  and  bred  in  the  colonies,  but 
had  been  a  leader  of  the  Reform  movement  in 
England,  he  advocated  self-government  for  the 
colonies  in  the  form  in  which  it  existed  in  the 
United  Kingdom.  It  consisted  in  the  force  and 
clearness  with  which  he  pointed  out  existing  evils, 
and  the  remedies  which  must  be  applied ;  the 
statesmanship  with  which,  not  content  with 
generalities,  he  prescribed  definite  and  immediate 
action  ;  and  the  courage  and  insight,  amounting  to 
genius,  with  which  he  gave  to  the  world  the  doc- 
trine of  responsible  government,  not  as  a  prelude 
to  the  creation  of  separate  peoples,  but  as  the 
cornerstone  upon  which  a  single  and  undivided 
British  Empire  should  be  reared  to  abiding  strength. 
One  other  comment  is  necessary.  Lord  Durham 
was  only  five  months  in  North  America,  and  of 
that  time  only  eleven  days  were  spent  in  Upper 
Canada,1  the  whole  of  the  rest  of  the  time  being 

1  The  Report  of  the  Select  Committee  of  the  House  of  Assembly  of 
Upper  Canada,  made  in  April  1839,  which  severely  criticized  Lord 
Durham  and  his  Report,  stated  that  '  His  lordship's  personal  observa- 
tion was  confined  to  his  passing  up  the  River  St.  Lawrence,  and  crossing 
Lake  Ontario,  in  a  steamboat  occupied  exclusively  by  his  family  and 
suite,  a  four  days'  sojourn  at  the  Falls  of  Niagara,  and  a  twenty-four 


devoted  to  the  Lower  Province.  Moreover,  during 
these  five  months,  he  had  not  only  to  attend  to  all 
the  everyday  business  of  administration,  but  to 
deal  with  the  most  pressing  and  vitally  important 
questions,  carrying  on  his  own  shoulders  at  a  time 
of  crisis  the  whole  load  of  responsibility.  He  was 
not,  like  other  commissioners,  sent  to  make  an 
inquiry,  while  all  the  ordinary  machinery  of 
government  was  steadily  working  from  day  to  day 
irrespective  of  the  commissioner  and  without  dis- 
turbing the  course  of  the  inquiry.  Nor  was  lie 
sent  out  with  command  of  railways,  telegraphs, 
and  all  the  swift  and  sure  means  of  communication 
which  science  has  since  perfected  or  devised.  The 
field  of  his  inquiry  was  very  wide,  the  population 
was  very  scattered,  the  problems  were  as  varied 
as  they  were  numerous,  means  of  communication 
were  most  inadequate.  That  such  results  should 
have  been  achieved  in  so  short  a  time,  when  that 
short  time  had  been  overfilled  with  harassing  ques- 
tions of  administration,  is  evidence  to  monumental 
industry  and  striking  ability  on  the  part  of  Lord 
Durham  and  his  assistants.  But,  at  the  same  time, 
it  is  clear  that,  under  these  conditions,  it  was 
humanly  impossible  for  the  Report  to  have  em- 
bodied the  fullest  first-hand  knowledge  on  every 
point  of  detail,  or  to  have  been  written  with  all 
the  judgement  and  reflection  which  a  longer 
residence  in  North  America  might  have  brought. 
Possibly  in  the  latter  case  the  view  of  the  forest 

hours'  visit  to  the  Lieutenant-Governor  at  Toronto'  (Parliamentary 
Paper,  No.  289,  June  1839,  Copies  or  Extracts  of  Correspondence 
relative  to  the  Affairs  of  Canada,  p.  22). 


might  have  been  obscured  by  the  trees,  and  the 
picture  of  the  whole  might  have  been  no  more 
accurate  and  less  vivid  than  that  which  is  presented 
in  the  Report ;  but,  none  the  less,  on  the  one  hand 
it  is  only  fair  to  Lord  Durham  to  bear  in  mind  the 
disadvantages  under  which  the  Report  was  written, 
and  on  the  other  it  would  be  wrong  to  ignore  the 
very  strong  exception  taken  to  the  statements  and 
inferences  which  it  contained,  in  and  on  behalf  of 
Upper  Canada. 


QUEEN  VICTORIA  came  to  the  throne  on  the 
20th  of  June  1837.  Lord  Durham,  therefore, 
started  on  his  mission  towards  the  end  of  the  first 
year  of  her  reign.  It  is  noteworthy  how  the 
beginning  of  the  great  Queen's  reign  coincided  with 
various  measures  or  movements  which  tended  to 
recast  and  regenerate  the  British  Empire.  In 
1833,  Sir  James  Stephen,  then  legal  adviser  and 
three  years  later  permanent  head  of  the  Colonial 
Office,  between  a  Saturday  morning  and  the  middle 
of  the  day  on  the  following  Monday,  drafted  the 
Imperial  Act  for  the  Abolition  of  Slavery.  Passed 
into  law  in  that  year,  it  provided  that,  from  the 
1st  of  August  1834,  slavery  should  be  abolished 
throughout  the  British  dominions  ;  but  the  emanci- 
pated negroes  were  to  continue  to  labour  under 
a  system  of  apprenticeship  until  the  1st  of  August 
1838  in  the  case  of  non-praedial  apprentices,  and 
the  1st  of  August  1840  in  the  case  of  praedial 
apprentices,  the  term  of  apprenticeship  being  in 
some  cases  shortened  by  local  legislation.  The 
last  remnants  of  legalized  slavery  were  therefore 
being  blotted  out  in  the  British  Empire  when  the 
young  girl  of  eighteen  became  Queen ;  and  when 
sixty-three  years  later  she  died  in  fullness  of  age 
and  of  honour,  she  was  mourned  in  the  lands  which 


slavery  had  once  blighted,  as  the  giver  of  freedom 
to  the  negro  race.  Great  as  an  act  of  humanity 
and  justice  to  a  class  of  British  subjects,  the 
Emancipation  Act  is  also  interesting  to  students 
of  colonial  history  as  an  instance  of  the  mother 
country  enforcing  its  will  on  colonies,  some  of 
which  had  from  the  earliest  times  enjoyed  no  small 
measure  of  self-government.  An  island  like  Bar- 
bados was  never  a  Crown  Colony  in  the  ordinary 
sense.  It  had  from  the  first  been  to  a  large  extent 
a  self-governing  community,  though  the  self- 
government  was  limited  to  the  white  oligarchy  ; 
and  to  this  day  it  retains  its  elected  Assembly 
and  the  power  of  the  purse.  Thus  we  have  the 
noteworthy  coincidence  of  the  birth  of  responsible 
government  in  British  North  America  with  the 
most  pronounced  enforcement  of  the  will  of  the 
mother  country  in  the  British  West  Indies,  though 
the  latter  had  enjoyed  representative  institutions 
in  times  when  Canada,  so  far  as  it  was  colonized, 
was  under  a  French  despotism,  with  no  semblance 
even  of  municipal  liberties,  while  what  was  after- 
wards Upper  Canada  was  in  the  main  a  wilderness. 
Somewhat  later  in  time  than  the  anti-slavery 
movement,  but  roughly  coincident  with  the  acces- 
sion of  Queen  Victoria,  was  another  fruitful  philan- 
thropic effort,  which  resulted  in  the  gradual 
abolition  of  the  system  of  transportation.  Arch- 
bishop Whately  and  others  had  been  active  in 
pointing  out  the  evils  and  abuses  to  which  this 
system  gave  rise,  and  in  1837  a  select  committee 
was  appointed  by  the  House  of  Commons  '  to 
inquire  into  the  system  of  transportation,  its 


efficacy  as  a  punishment,  its  influence  on  the 
moral  state  of  Society  in  the  penal  colonies,  and 
how  far  it  is  susceptible  of  improvement '.  It  was 
a  strong  committee.  Sir  William  Molesworth  was 
the  Chairman,  and  among  the  members  were 
Charles  Buller,  Sir  George  Grey,  Lord  Howick, 
afterwards  Lord  Grey,  Lord  John  Russell,  and 
Sir  Robert  Peel.  The  report  was  made  in  August 
1838  :  it  condemned  the  existing  system  :  and  the 
first  of  its  recommendations  was  '  that  transporta- 
tion to  New  South  Wales,  and  to  the  settled 
districts  of  Van  Diemen's  Land,  should  be  dis- 
continued as  soon  as  practicable '.  In  1840 
transportation  to  New  South  Wales  was  suspended. 
This  was  the  beginning  of  the  end  of  a  system 
which  died  hard,  for  some  convicts  were  sent  to 
Western  Australia  up  to  1867,  Western  Australia 
being,  it  should  be  noted,  the  only  colony  in 
Australia  which  at  that  date  had  not  received 
responsible  government.  The  system  died  hard, 
for  it  was  not,  like  slavery,  evil  in  its  essence  ;  it 
was  evil  only  in  the  conditions  under  which  it  was 
enforced  or  which  gathered  round  it. 

The  Act  of  Parliament  which  abolished  slavery 
throughout  the  British  dominions  affected  mainly 
the  colonies  of  Great  Britain  in  the  western 
hemisphere,  the  West  Indies,  which  were  her 
oldest  colonies,  and  which  were  in  fact,  as  they 
had  been  in  name,  plantations.  The  anti-trans- 
portation movement  principally  affected  the  British 
colonies  in  the  south,  the  youngest  colonies  of 
Great  Britain,  those  in  Australia  which  had  been 
originally  founded  as  penal  settlements.  Slavery 


was  abolished  by  the  will  of  the  mother  country 
imposed  upon  the  slave-owning  colonies  ;  trans- 
portation was  eventually  abolished  in  obedience  to 
the  will  of  the  colonies  imposed  upon  the  mother 
country.  In  the  West  Indies,  where  slavery 
prevailed,  and  where  in  past  times  the  white 
oligarchies  were  in  great  measure  self-governing 
communities,  there  is  now  but  the  remanet  of 
representative  institutions.  The  area  where  the 
transportation  system  was  most  fully  applied  is, 
at  the  present  day,  the  scene  of  colonial  self- 
government  in  its  fullest  expression. 

The  Cape,  on  the  way  between  East  and  West, 
on  the  way  between  North  and  South,  was  touched 
alike  by  the  abolition  of  slavery  and  by  the  move- 
ment against  transportation.  One  of  the  dramatic 
incidents  in  the  later  stages  of  the  anti-transporta- 
tion campaign,  and  one  of  the  most  emphatic 
pronouncements  of  colonial  rights  in  advance  of 
colonial  self-government,  was  the  refusal  of  the 
Cape  colonists,  in  September  1849,  to  allow  the 
Neptune  to  land  her  freight  of  ticket-of -leave  men 
in  Simons  Bay.  Earlier  in  the  history  of  the  Cape, 
the  inadequacy  of  the  compensation  paid  to  the 
slave-owners  had  embittered  colonial  feeling  against 
the  British  Government ;  there  followed  the 
reversal  of  Sir  Benjamin  D'Urban's  policy  by 
Lord  Glenelg  ;  and  when  Queen  Victoria  came  to 
the  throne,  the  Great  Boer  trek  was  taking  place, 
which  coloured  the  whole  subsequent  history  of 
South  Africa. 

Returning  to  Australasia,  the  colony  of  South 
Australia  dates  from  1836,  the  year  before  the 


Queen's  accession.  The  date  usually  given  to  the 
founding  of  Melbourne  is  1837.  In  1837  the  New 
Zealand  Association  was  formed.  In  1838-9  it 
was  followed  by  the  New  Zealand  Land  Company. 
In  1839  this  company  forced  the  hands  of  the 
Government  by  sending  out  the  ship  Tory  to  New 
Zealand,  with  Gibbon  Wakefield's  brother  on 
board,  and  the  forerunners  of  a  larger  band  of 
settlers  ;  and  early  in  1840  New  Zealand  became 
formally  and  finally  a  British  possession.  The 
settlement  of  South  Australia,  and  the  acquisition 
of  New  Zealand,  were  the  outcome  of  the  coloniza- 
tion movement  with  which  Gibbon  Wakefield's 
name  is  for  ever  associated,  and  the  chairman  of 
the  New  Zealand  Company  was  Lord  Durham. 
This  movement  was  at  its  flood-tide  when  Queen 
Victoria  came  to  the  throne. 

But  while  thinkers  and  statesmen  and  philan- 
thropists were  at  work,  more  potent  in  their  effects 
upon  the  world  at  large,  and  upon  the  British 
Empire  in  particular,  were  the  inventions  and 
discoveries  of  men  of  science.  When  Queen 
Victoria  began  her  reign,  the  forces  of  steam  were 
in  their  cradle,  and  the  forces  of  electricity  were 
being  brought  to  birth.  The  first  railway  upon 
which  the  locomotive  was  used,  the  line  from 
Stockton  to  Darlington,  was  opened  in  1825,  the 
line  from  Manchester  to  Liverpool  in  1830.  In  his 
Report  (ii.  212-13),  Lord  Durham  wrote,  '  there 
is  but  one  railroad  in  all  British  America,  and 
that,  running  between  the  St.  Lawrence  and  Lake 
Champlain,  is  only  fifteen  miles  long.'  That  line 
was  the  only  railroad  in  the  British  Empire  outside 

CHAP,  ii      ACCESSION  OF  QUEEN  VICTORIA        15 

the  United  Kingdom  at  the  date  of  the  Queen's 
accession.  In  his  Essay  on  the  Government  of 
Dependencies,  which  was  published  in  1841,  Sir 
George  Cornewall-Lewis  speaks  of  the  possibility 
of  countervailing  the  difficulties  in  administration 
due  to  distance  by  '  the  goodness  of  the  roads 
and  bridges,  and  an  advanced  state  of  the  art  of 
navigation,  affording  the  means  of  rapid  locomotion 
both  by  land  and  sea  V  but  he  makes  no  specific 
reference  in  this  passage  to  railways,  steamers,  or 
telegraphs  ;  and  in  one  note  only  in  his  book  does 
he  refer  in  unfamiliar  terms  to  '  the  invention  of 
steam  railways ',  as  about  to  reduce  '  to  sober 
truth  '  the  passage  in  which  the  poet  Claudian 
depicted  the  unity  and  the  facility  of  intercourse 
which  peace  and  good  roads  had  given  to  the 
Roman  Empire.2  Almost  the  greatest  merit  of  Lord 
Durham's  Report  is  the  writer's  obvious  apprecia- 
tion of  what  the  future,  aided  by  science,  might  have 
in  store  for  British  North  America ;  and  had  Lord 
Durham  lived  to  see  the  8th  of  November  1885, 
when  railway  connexion  was  completed  from 
Montreal  to  Vancouver,  he  would  have  been 
hardly  older  then  than  one  of  the  chief  pioneers  of 
the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway,  the  present  High 
Commissioner  for  Canada,  is  now. 

'  The  success  of  the  great  experiment  of  steam 
navigation  across  the  Atlantic,'  says  Lord  Durham 
in  his  Report  (ii.  316-17),  '  opens  a  prospect  of 
a  speedy  communication  with  Europe,  which  will 
materially  affect  the  future  state  of  all  these 
provinces.'  On  the  wall  at  the  entrance  to  the 

1  p.  178  (1891  ed.).  '  PP-  128-9  note. 


Parliamentary  Library  at  Ottawa  there  is  an  in- 
scription '  in  honour  of  the  men  by  whose  enterprise, 
courage,  and  skill,  the  Royal  William,  the  first 
vessel  to  cross  the  Atlantic  by  steam  power,  was 
wholly  constructed  in  Canada  and  navigated  to 
England  in  1833 '.  This  ship  was  built  at  Quebec 
under  the  cliffs  of  Cape  Diamond,  and  launched  in 
April  1831.  On  the  18th  of  August  1833  she  started 
from  Pictou  in  Nova  Scotia  and  steamed  across 
the  Atlantic,  reaching  Gravesend  on  the  12th  of 
September,  twenty-five  days  after  leaving  Pictou.1 
Regular  steam  communication,  however,  between 
England  and  America  did  not  begin  till  1838,  the 
year  in  which  Lord  Durham  went  to  Canada. 
The  Peninsular  Company,  formed  in  1837,  received 
its  charter  as  the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company 
in  1840  ;  and  on  the  4th  of  July  1840  the  Britannia, 
a  steamer  belonging  to  a  citizen  of  Halifax  in  Nova 
Scotia,  of  the  name  of  Cunard,  started  from  Liver- 
pool for  Halifax  and  Boston,  being  the  first  regular 
steamer  of  the  great  Cunard  line. 

In  1837,  Cooke  and  Wheatstone  took  out  a  patent 
for  an  electric  telegraph,  and  in  1840  Wheatstone 
is  said  to  have  drawn  plans  for  a  submarine  tele- 
graph from  Dover  to  Calais ;  but  it  was  not  until 
1858  that  a  submarine  cable  was  laid  between  the 
United  Kingdom  and  America,  and  the  connexion 
was  not  finally  and  successfully  made  until  1866. 
It  may  be  summed  up  that  when  Queen  Victoria's 
reign  began,  and  when  Lord  Durham  went  out  to 

1  The  brass  tablet  was  erected  in  1894,  and  a  full  account  of  the  Royal 
WiUiam  is  given  in  the  Report  of  the  Secretary  of  State  of  Canada  for 
1894,  published  in  1895. 

CHAP,  ii      ACCESSION  OF  QUEEN  VICTORIA        17 

Canada,  science  was  about  to  recast  the  meaning 
of  space  and  time  ;  but  it  was  as  yet  the  dawn 
only,  and  not  the  full  brightness  of  day. 

Lord  Melbourne,  who  succeeded  Lord  Grey  as 
the  leader  or  nominal  leader  of  the  Whig  party, 
was  Queen  Victoria's  first  Prime  Minister,  and  it 
was  during  his  tenure  of  office  that  Lord  Durham's 
mission  took  place.  The  battle  of  Waterloo  had 
ended  an  age  of  war.  Before  1815<  for  England 
and  for  the  world  generally,  war  had  for  a  long 
series  of  years  been  the  rule  and  peace  the  excep- 
tion. The  people  had  grown  up  not  merely  familiar 
with  the  conditions  of  life  in  time  of  war,  but  so 
accustomed  to  war  that  peace  must  have  seemed 
a  novelty.  It  had  been  a  fight  for  national  exis- 
tence. England,  though  spared  the  horror  of  war 
on  her  own  shores,  had  paid  a  heavy  price  for 
victory,  but  she  had  survived  and  she  had  won. 
When  peace  came  again,  the  English,  by  a  perfectly 
wholesome  instinct,  still  kept  in  power  the  men 
who  had  led  them  in  war  times  and  with  whom 
the  Duke  of  Wellington  was  associated,  and  they 
kept  out  of  power  the  Whigs  who  had  been  or 
seemed  to  have  been  the  less  patriotic  of  the  two 
parties.  This  went  on  until  peace  had  become  the 
rule  and  not  the  exception,  and  until,  if  ever  there 
was  going  to  be  a  transfer  of  power  from  one  party 
to  another,  it  was  absolutely  inevitable  that  it 
should  take  place.  Then  in  1830  the  Whigs,  who 
had  especially  espoused  or  professed  to  espouse 
the  cause  of  Parliamentary  Reform,  came  into 
power,  and  with  a  short  break  held  office  for  rather 
more  than  ten  years. 

1352-1  C 


They  passed  the  great  Reform  Act  of  1832,  the 
Acts  for  the  abolition  of  slavery,  for  the  reform  of 
the  Poor  Law,  for  the  reform  of  municipal  corpora- 
tions, and  other  valuable  legislation.  It  stands  to 
their  lasting  credit  that  they  thoroughly  repaired 
the  parliamentary  machinery  of  England,  gave 
some  measure  of  representation  to  the  great  cities, 
and  made  the  House  of  Commons  an  exponent  of 
popular  wishes  and  popular  movements  to  an 
extent  which  had  never  been  the  case  before.  It 
stands  to  their  credit,  too,  that,  having  improved 
the  machinery,  they  used  it  for  a  short  time  in  an 
undeniably  beneficial  manner.  On  the  other  hand, 
their  enthusiasm  for  democratic  measures,  and  the 
enthusiasm  of  the  people  for  them,  cooled  some- 
what rapidly  ;  and  at  the  beginning  of  Queen 
Victoria's  reign  the  Whig  ministers  were  not  much 
more  than  caretakers,  the  leaders  of  the  Ins  as 
opposed  to  the  Outs,  not  entrusted  with  any  great 
mission  or  standing  for  any  great  principle. 

The  reasons  for  this  result  are  not  far  to  seek. 
The  inevitable  outcome  of  passing  the  Reform  Act 
and  having  a  reformed  Parliament  was  disunion, 
more  or  less  pronounced,  more  or  less  rapid,  both  in 
the  Government  and  in  the  country.  The  door  had 
been  unlocked,  obstructions  had  been  removed, 
people  were  moving  on,  and  they  moved  at  different 
rates  of  speed  and  in  different  directions.  The 
individual  ministers,  or  some  of  them,  may  well 
have  become  tired  and  half-hearted,  and  there  was 
probably,  as  is  always  the  case,  a  large  section  of 
the  public  disappointed  because  extension  of  the 
franchise  did  not  at  once  bring  the  millennium. 


Moreover  there  was,  after  all,  no  great  gulf  fixed 
between  the  Whigs  and  the  Tories.  On  the  one 
hand  the  Whig  Government  was  not  wholly  com- 
posed of  traditional  Whigs,  and  on  the  other  the 
Tories,  whom  they  succeeded,  had  had  a  strong 
leaven  of  Liberalism  among  them.  Melbourne  had 
served  under  Canning  and  the  Duke  of  Wellington. 
Stanley,  nominally  a  Whig,  had  served  under 
Canning.  Palmerston,  Goderich,  Lord  Glenelg, 
among  others,  had  been  in  the  so-called  Tory  ranks. 
In  those  ranks,  Canning  had  been  the  very  anti- 
podes of  a  benighted  Tory;  Huskisson  had  gone 
further  than  any  responsible  minister  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Free  Trade  ;  while,  even  when  the  Duke  of 
Wellington,  the  very  embodiment  of  Toryism,  was 
Prime  Minister,  the  Test  and  Corporation  Acts  had, 
on  Lord  John  Russell's  initiative,  been  repealed,  and 
Catholic  emancipation  had  been  carried.  Canning 
and  Huskisson  were  dead,  but  Peel  survived  ;  and 
Peel,  the  country  knew  well,  was  no  more  of 
a  reactionary  than  Melbourne  and  his  friends. 
Thus  at  the  beginning  of  Queen  Victoria's  reign 
there  was  a  somewhat  colourless  Government  in 
power,  representing  a  spent  force,  no  better  and 
110  worse  than  an  ordinary  party  Government  in 
ordinary  times  of  peace.  War  as  a  normal  con- 
dition of  English  life  had  passed  more  or  less  into 
oblivion,  and  there  were  a  large  number  of  move- 
ments at  work,  political,  social,  and  industrial,  and 
a  considerable  number  of  individual  men,  like 
Lord  Durham  himself,  not  hide-bound  by  party 
ties,  but  independent  of  and  prepared,  if  their 
principles  called  for  such  a  course,  to  be  antagonistic 



to  the  Government.  In  1838  the  Anti-Corn  Law 
Association  was  formed,  which  developed  in  the 
following  year  into  the  Anti-Corn  Law  League. 
Free  Trade  had  not  been  a  plank  in  the  Whig 
platform,  and  there  was  no  love  lost  between 
the  official  Whigs  and  Richard  Cobden.  1838-9 
was  the  date  of  the  Chartist  movement,  and  those 
who  sympathized  with  he  Chartists  made  small 
account  of  the  Whigs  as  represented  by  Lord  Mel- 
bourne's Government. 

In  that  Government,  when  Lord  Durham  went 
out  to  Canada,  the  Colonial  Secretary  was  Charles 
Grant,  Lord  Glenelg.  Sir  Henry  Taylor,  who 
served  under  him  at  the  Colonial  Office,  wrote  of 
him  as  '  high-minded,  accomplished,  and  occasion- 
ally eloquent,  but  habitually  and  incurably  sluggish 
and  somnolent ;  .  .  .  amiable  and  excellent  as  he 
was,  a  more  incompetent  man  could  not  have  been 
found  to  fill  an  office  requiring  activity  and  a  ready 
judgement.'  l  A  much  more  favourable  estimate 
of  him  was  given  by  Taylor's  friend  and  colleague, 
Sir  James  Stephen,  who,  during  Lord  Glenelg's 
tenure  of  office  was  promoted  to  be  permanent 
Under-Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies.  When 
Lord  Glenelg  resigned,  Stephen  wrote : 

'  Lord  Glenelg's  resignation  is,  as  you  may  well 
suppose,  a  sad  subject  with  me.  He  is  the  tenth 
Secretary  of  State  under  whom  I  have  served, 
and  from  the  most  certain  knowledge,  I  can 
declare  that  of  the  whole  of  that  long  list  he  is  the 
most  laborious,  the  most  conscientious,  and  the 
most  enlightened  minister  of  the  public.  .  .  .  His 

1  Autobiography  of  Sir  Henry  Taylor  1885,  vol.  i,  pp.  147-8. 

CHAP,  ii      ACCESSION  OF  QUEEN  VICTORIA        21 

real  and  only  unfitness  for  public  life  arises  from 
the  strange  incompatibility  of  his  temper  and 
principles  with  the  tempers  and  with  the  rules  of 
action  to  which  we  erect  shrines  in  Downing  Street.' l 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  Lord  Glenelg  was 
a  man  of  very  high  principles.  He  was  actuated 
by  the  purest  motives  of  justice  and  philanthropy, 
when  he  ordered  withdrawal  from  the  native 
territory  which  Sir  Benjamin  D' Urban  had  annexed 
to  the  Cape  Colony  ;  but  the  result  of  his  action  in 
that  case  was  most  disastrous,  and  in  general  by 
common  consent  he  was  a  weak  and  incompetent 
Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies.  In  1838  Sir 
William  Molesworth  moved  a  vote  of  censure  on 
him  in  the  House  of  Commons,  charging  him  by 
implication  with  want  of  diligence,  forethought, 
judgement,  activity  and  firmness,  and  early  in  the 
following  year  he  was  made  to  resign. 

Stephen,  who  described  himself  in  the  letter 
quoted  above  as  Lord  Glenelg' s  '  intimate  personal 
friend ',  and  who,  as  permanent  Under-Secretary 
of  State,  was  his  principal  adviser  at  the  Colonial 
Office,  was  anything  but  a  weak  man.  He  was 
strong  enough  to  be  exposed  to  attacks  from  which 
permanent  officials  are  usually  exempt,  and  he  was 
supposed  to  be  the  embodiment  of  all  the  vices 
of  the  Colonial  Office  when  Charles  Buller  de- 
nounced it  and  talked  about '  Mr.  Mother  Country  '. 

'  I  am  scarcely  twenty-four  hours  off  Sir  William 
Molesworth's  impeachment,'  Stephen  wrote  in 
1838,  '  in  which  I  hear  from  Charles  Buller,  a  great 
friend  of  Sir  William's,  that  I  am  to  have  a  con- 

1  The  First  Sir  James  Stephen,  pp.  56-7,  Letter  of  February  12, 1839. 


spicuous  share.  I  am,  it  seems,  at  your  service, 
a  rapacious,  grasping,  ambitious  Tory.  On  two 
unequal  crutches  propped  he  came,  Glenelg's  on 
this,  on  that  Sir  G.  Grey's  name  ;  and  it  appears 
that  by  the  aid  of  these  crutches  I  have  hobbled 
into  a  dominion  wider  than  ever  Nero  possessed, 
which  I  exercise  like  another  Domitian.' ] 

If  some  took  Stephen  to  be  a  rapacious  Tory,  the 
eccentric  Governor  of  Upper  Canada,  Sir  Francis 
Bond  Head,  abused  him  as  a  rank  republican. 
From  his  predominance  at  the  Colonial  Office  ho 
was  christened  Mr.  Over-Secretary  Stephen,  and  he 
seems  to  have  been  regarded  by  men  of  the  school 
of  Molesworth  and  Buller  as  the  type  of  a  rigid 
and  unsympathetic  official.  He  had  been  brought 
up  in  the  evangelical  atmosphere  of  the  Clapham 
sect,  and  with  their  virtues  and  their  philanthropy 
may  well  have  inherited  also  some  narrowness,  but 
his  private  letters  show  no  want  of  kindly  feeling 
or  of  human  sympathy. 

'  It  fell  to  his  lot,'  wrote  his  son,  Sir  FitzJames 
Stephen  in  1860,  '  to  assist  in  two  of  the  most 
remarkable  transactions  even  of  this  century. 
The  first  was  the  abolition  of  slavery,  the  second 
was  the  establishment  of  responsible  government 
in  Canada.  .  .  .  The  principles  which  he  always 
advocated  ultimately  obtained  complete  recogni- 
tion, but  he  was  constantly  obliged  to  take  part 
in  measures  which  he  regretted,  and  of  which  he 
disapproved.' 2 

It  must  be  remembered  that,  when  the  United 
States  were  severed  from  the  British  Empire,  little 

1  The,  Sir  Jam?s  Stephen,  p.  53.  Sir  G.  Grey  was  then  the 
Parliamentary  Under- Secretary  at  the  Colonial  Office,  nnd  represented 
it  in  the  House  of  Commons.  -  pp.  51-2. 

CHAP,  ii      ACCESSION  OF  QUEEN  VICTORIA        23 

trace  of  colonial  self-government  was  left  within 
the  Empire  except  in  the  West  Indian  Legislatures. 
The  tendency  of  the  time  was,  as  in  the  case  of  the 
abolition  of  slavery,  to  override  these  Legislatures, 
not  to  extend  their  powers ;  and  in  1839,  the  very 
year  in  which  Lord  Durham's  Report  appeared, 
Lord  Melbourne's  Government  brought  in  a  Bill  for 
temporarily  suspending  the  constitution  of  Jamaica, 
which  led  to  the  resignation  of  the  Ministry.  Out- 
side the  West  Indies,  Canada  had  been  given  repre- 
sentative institutions  by  the  Act  of  1791,  but  the 
Colonial  Office  had  necessarily  none  of  the  experi- 
ence of  dealings  with  self-governing  communities 
which  it  has  at  the  present  day.  It  may  be  summed 
up  therefore  that,  when  Lord  Durham  went  out  to 
Canada,  the  Colonial  Office  with  which  he  had  to 
deal  was  in  the  main  what  would  now  be  called 
a  Crown  Colony  Office,  presided  over  by  an  excep- 
tionally weak  Secretary  of  State  and  an  exception- 
ally strong  permanent  Under-Secretary.  Such 
conditions  would  give  a  notable  opportunity  for 
reflections  and  comments  on  bureaucracy;  and 
inasmuch  as  the  evils  of  bureaucracy  were  a 
favourite  theme  with  Charles  Buller,  perhaps  his 
hand  may  specially  be  traced  in  the  very  able 
passages  of  the  Report  (ii.  101-6)  which  refer  to 
this  subject,  and  one  of  the  side  notes  to  which  is 
'  Evils  of  committing  details  of  government  to 
Colonial  Department '. 



IN  1837,  the  year  of  the  Queen's  Accession  and 
the  year  before  Lord  Durham  went  to  Canada, 
the  discontent  and  unrest  which  had  long  prevailed 
alike  in  Lower  and  in  Upper  Canada,  culminated 
in  open  rebellion  in  either  province.  In  order  to 
make  clear  how  the  trouble  arose,  it  is  necessary 
to  give  an  outline  of  the  previous  condition  of  the 
two  provinces. 

Between  French  and  English  colonization  in 
North  America,  and  between  French  and  English 
colonists,  there  was  a  great  gulf  fixed.  Race, 
religion,  language,  customs,  prejudices  divided 
them,  but  the  division  did  not  end  here.  French 
colonization  was  born  of  the  State,  it  was  reared 
by  the  State,  it  was  controlled  by  the  State.  Its 
essence  was  feudalism,  imported  from  the  old  world 
to  the  new,  which  was  not,  however,  as  in  the  old 
world,  a  growth  but  the  creation  of  the  Crown. 
In  New  France  the  authority  of  the  Crown  and 
of  the  Church  was  absolute.  '  The  institutions  of 
France,'  wrote  Lord  Durham  (ii.  27-8),  '  during  the 
period  of  the  colonization  of  Canada,  were,  perhaps, 
more  than  those  of  any  other  European  nation, 
calculated  to  repress  the  intelligence  and  freedom 
of  the  great  mass  of  the  people.  These  institutions 


followed  the  Canadian  colonist  across  the  Atlantic. 
The  same  central,  ill-organized,  unimproving  and 
repressive  despotism  extended  over  him.  Not 
merely  was  he  allowed  no  voice  in  the  government 
of  his  province,  or  the  choice  of  his  rulers,  but  he 
was  not  even  permitted  to  associate  with  his 
neighbours  for  the  regulation  of  those  municipal 
affairs,  which  the  central  authority  neglected  under 
the  pretext  of  managing.'  Lord  Durham  regarded 
the  political  and  social  system  of  Canada  under 
French  rule  from  an  English  point  of  view,  and  he 
emphasized  that  view  as  an  advanced  Liberal. 
It  is  true  that  there  was  no  liberty,  as  Englishmen 
understood  it,  in  New  France,  no  vestige  of  popular 
representation  in  political  or  even  in  municipal 
matters  ;  but  the  system  was  not  without  its 
merits.  It  was  not  ill  organized.  In  its  inception 
it  was  well  and  skilfully  organized.  The  object 
was  to  reproduce  in  the  new  home  the  conditions 
which  the  colonists  had  known  in  the  old,  to  create 
a  New  France  in  America.  New  France  was 
created,  and  it  would  be  difficult  to  find  a  parallel 
in  history  for  a  handiwork  so  artificial,  which  was 
at  the  same  time  so  strong  and  lasting.  Two 
features  in  French  Canada  call  for  special  notice. 
The  first  is  that  it  tended  to  be  a  land  of  extremes, 
or  at  any  rate  a  land  of  strong  contrasts.  Within 
the  settled  area  life  was  lived  rigidly  according  to 
rule,  on  fixed  lines  in  fixed  places.  Outside  the 
settled  area  French  quickness  of  mind  and  body 
found  unlimited  scope  :  the  voyageurs  and  the 
coureurs  de  bois  went  far  and  wide  and  knew  no 
law.  The  second  characteristic  to  be  noticed  is 


that  Canada  in  old  days  was  better  framed  for  war 
than  for  peace.  It  had  a  natural  stronghold  in 
Quebec,  to  which  there  is  no  parallel  in  North 
America  ;  it  had  a  race  of  men  in  the  coureurs  de 
bois  specially  adapted  for  border  forays ;  while  the 
system,  at  once  feudal  and  centralized,  under  which 
the  ordinary  community  lived,  was  a  most  effective 
organization  for  war  purposes.  The  English  in 
America  were  many,  the  French  were  one  ;  and, 
as  the  days  of  New  France  were  more  often  days 
of  war  than  days  of  peace,  Canada  reaped  the 
benefit  of  unquestioned  authority,  unquestioning 
obedience,  and  a  whole  population  trained  for 
service  to  the  King. 

Canadian  colonization  was  the  product  of  the 
State,  and  the  State  was  the  Crown.  The  British 
colonies,  which  were  the  neighbours  and  rivals  of 
Canada,  were  largely  the  product  of  antagonism 
to  the  State.  The  typical  New  Englanders  were 
men  or  the  descendants  of  men  who  had  gone  out 
to  America  to  live  their  lives  as  they  wished,  and 
not  as  the  King  or  the  Home  Government  wished. 
They  were  cradled  in  freedom,  political  and 
religious,  and  self-government  in  one  form  or 
another  was  of  the  essence  of  their  being.  They 
did  perforce  a  good  deal  of  warring,  in  a  spasmodic 
and  slipshod  fashion,  but  their  real  business  was 
to  grow  and  multiply,  to  settle  in  their  own  way 
and  on  their  own  lines.  There  were  backwoodsmen 
and  hunters  among  them,  but  there  were  no  such 
extremes  in  the  English  colonies  as  were  to  be 
found  in  Canada.  There  were  no  habitants  or 
seigniories  on  the  one  hand,  and  on  the  other  no 


'  definite  class  of  Indianized  Europeans  like  the 
coureurs  de  bois.  The  English  colonists  were  all 
citizens,  more  often  than  not  grudging  and  selfish 
citizens,  but  in  all  cases  keenly  conscious  of  their 
rights  if  not  of  their  responsibilities. 

The  conquest  of  Canada  and  the  Peace  of  Paris 
made  the  French  Canadians,  who  had  in  the  past 
been  most  loyal  subjects  of  the  French  King,  sub- 
jects of  the  British  King,  and  fellow  subjects  with 
these  wholly  dissimilar  British  colonists,  who  had 
no  instinct  or  tradition  of  heart-whole  obedience, 
and  a  few  of  whom,  bad  specimens  of  their  kind, 
found  their  way  into  Canada.  A  most  difficult 
position  was  created  for  the  British  Government. 
That  Government  wished  to  treat  the  new  subjects, 
the  French  Canadians,  with  the  fullest  considera- 
tion, to  respect  their  religion  and  their  customs. 
At  the  same  time  the  British  ministers  wished  to 
extend  to  the  French  Canadians  within  reason 
British  laws  and  institutions,  because  those  laws 
and  institutions  embodied,  so  it  was  assumed, 
better  conditions  of  life  than  the  Canadians  had 
hitherto  known,  and  because  it  was  desired  to  con- 
vert the  Canadians  gradually  into  British  citizens. 
Further  it  was  desired,  as  far  as  possible,  while  con- 
ciliating the  French  Canadians,  not  to  run  counter 
to  the  wishes  and  prejudices  of  the  neighbouring 
British  colonies,  and  also  as  far  as  possible  to  meet 
the  wishes  of  the  very  small  but  very  noisy  British 
minority  in  Canada,  and  to  make  Canada  an 
attractive  field  for  British  settlement.  The  result 
was,  and  could  only  be,  a  measure  or  measures  of 


Canada,  as  a  British  possession,  began  with 
military  rule,  and  it  throve  under  military  rule. 
The  Canadians  had  been  accustomed  to  it  or  to 
something  very  like  it.  They  had  been  trained  on 
military  lines.  Their  loyalty  and  obedience  had 
been  to  persons,  to  the  King,  to  the  priest,  to  the 
seignior,  not  to  a  State.  They  had  obeyed  rules 
and  customs  made  from  above,  not  laws  made  by 
themselves.  They  had  been  brought  up  under 
authority  and  had  inherited  discipline.  Military 
men,  therefore,  who  had  known  discipline  them- 
selves, and  who  were  by  reason  of  their  calling 
essentially  the  King's  men,  who,  moreover,  had  in 
fighting  learnt  to  appreciate  the  bravery  and  the 
stubbornness  of  the  French  Canadians,  sympa- 
thized with  them  more  and  understood  them  better 
than  did  civilians,  and  far  better  than  well-meaning 
ministers  at  a  distance  or  the  ill-disposed  British 
minority  on  the  spot. 

When  civil  government  was  established  by  the 
Royal  Proclamation  of  1763,  soldier  governors 
were  continued.  James  Murray,  the  first  Governor, 
and  his  successor  Carleton,  were  in  full  sympathy 
with  the  Canadians,  and  Carleton  urged  the 
importance  of  interfering  as  little  as  possible  with 
Canadian  laws  and  customs,  and  of  employing  the 
Canadian  seigniors  in  the  King's  service,  thereby 
giving  them  the  personal  link  which  they  had 
known  under  the  old  regime.  The  absence  of  some 
such  recognition  left  the  Canadian  noblesse  half- 
hearted in  their  new  allegiance.  The  introduction 
of  English  laws  and  of  English  legal  procedure 
led  to  confusion  and  to  general  uneasiness.  The 


habitants  found  the  bonds  of  discipline  relaxed, 
and  began  to  unlearn  obedience.  The  British 
minority  clamoured  for  a  General  Assembly,  on  the 
model  of  the  Assemblies  of  the  adjoining  provinces, 
the  grant  of  which  had  been  foreshadowed  by  the 
Proclamation  of  1763,  and  they  made  the  igno- 
rant French  peasantry  familiar  with  the  claptrap 
phrases  of  colonial  democracy.  Under  these  con- 
ditions, after  the  most  anxious  inquiry  and  guided 
to  a  great  extent  by  Carleton's  advice,  the  Home 
Government  passed  the  Quebec  Act  of  1774. 

The  Quebec  Act  gave  great  offence  to  the  old 
colonies,  already  on  the  eve  of  revolt,  mainly 
because  it  included  within  the  Province  of  Quebec 
the  western  lands  which  those  colonies  looked  upon 
as  their  own  sphere  of  future  settlement  and 
colonization ;  nor  did  it  satisfy  the  British  minority, 
inasmuch  as  it  made  no  provision  for  an  elected 
Assembly.  By  the  Canadians,  on  the  other  hand, 
it  was  regarded  at  the  time  with  great  satisfaction, 
for  it  safeguarded  their  religion  and  gave  them 
their  old  laws  in  civil  matters.  The  Act  created 
a  Legislative  Council,  but  not  on  an  elective  basis  ; 
and  it  withheld  from  the  Council  powers  of  taxa- 
tion except  in  the  form  of  purely  local  rates. 
Another  Imperial  Act  was  passed  at  the  same 
time,  the  Quebec  Revenue  Act,  which  repealed 
various  taxes  levied  under  the  French  Government, 
and  imposed  instead  certain  duties  on  spirits  and 
molasses  as  well  as  certain  licences,  the  proceeds  of 
which  were  applied  to  meeting  the  expenses  of  the 
civil  government  and  of  the  administration  of 
j  ustice. 


The  passing  of  the  Quebec  Act  was  followed 
almost  immediately  by  the  War  of  American 
Independence.  In  this  war  the  Canadians  as  a 
whole  were  neutral ;  they  were  a  lately-conquered 
people,  they  had  no  great  reason  to  love  their  con- 
querors, and  they  were  invited  and  urged  to  rise 
for  freedom  and  for  imaginary  privileges  which 
they  did  not  understand.  On  the  other  hand,  they 
had  liked  their  soldier  governors  ;  they,  or  some  of 
them,  had  recognized  the  fair  and  kindly  dealing 
embodied  in  the  Quebec  Act ;  if  they  had  no  great 
love  for  the  English  from  over  the  seas,  they  had 
less  love  for  the  English  in  their  immediate  neigh- 
bourhood ;  and  the  sentiment  for  a  King  had  not 
wholly  died  out.  The  better  classes  tended  to  take 
the  King's  side.  Of  the  peasantry  not  a  few  joined 
the  Americans  ;  but  the  large  majority  waited  on 

The  outcome  of  the  war  was  that  Quebec  was 
well  defended  and  well  kept ;  that  Canada  re- 
mained a  province  of  the  British  Empire  with  far 
greater  relative  importance  attached  to  it  than 
when  it  had  been  overshadowed  by  the  adjacent 
colonies,  now  no  longer  British  possessions  ;  and 
that  the  Loyalist  immigration  from  the  United 
States  led  to  the  creation  of  two  new  British  pro- 
vinces in  North  America,  New  Brunswick,  which 
was  the  mainland  of  Nova  Scotia,  and  Upper 
Canada,  which  was  the  hinterland  of  Quebec.  The 
Loyalists  brought  with  them  intense  animosity  to 
the  newly-formed  Republic  of  the  United  States, 
intense  loyalty  to  the  British  Crown,  but  none  the 
less  the  traditions  and  the  instincts  of  colonial 


self-government.  Their  coming  into  the  old 
Province  of  Quebec  produced  a  new  set  of  con- 
ditions. The  British  population  of  Canada  was 
now  no  longer  an  insignificant  minority,  but  a 
strong  and  substantial  number  of  tried  and 
approved  citizens,  whose  political  training  had 
been  wholly  different  from  that  of  the  French 
Canadians.  They  were  mainly  settled  in  a  part  of 
the  province  which  the  French  had  not  colonized ; 
and  this  fact  made  it  possible,  if  it  was  thought 
desirable,  to  divide  the  province,  and  give  to 
either  half  a  separate  legislature  and  administra- 
tion. This  course  was  taken,  again  after  the  most 
careful  attention  to  all  the  facts  and  features  of 
the  case  ;  and,  by  the  Imperial  Act  of  1791,  the 
Province  of  Quebec  was  divided  into  the  two 
provinces  of  Upper  and  Lower  Canada,  either  pro- 
vince being  given  a  constitution  consisting  of 
a  nominated  Legislative  Council  and  an  elected 
Assembly,  but  neither  province  being  given  full 
control  either  of  their  revenues  or  of  their  executive 
officers.  By  thus  dividing  the  old  Province  of 
Quebec  it  was  hoped  that  friction  would  be  avoided, 
and  that  French  Canada,  being  side  by  side  with 
a  British  province,  and  enjoying  the  same  institu- 
tions, would  gradually  become  assimilated  to  it 
without  jealousy  or  ill-will.  William  Pitt's  words, 
when  introducing  the  bill  into  the  House  of 
Commons,  were  as  follows  :  '  This  division,  it  was 
hoped,  would  put  an  end  to  the  competition 
between  the  old  French  inhabitants  and  the  new 
settlers  from  Britain,  or  British  colonies,  which 
had  occasioned  the  disputes  and  uncertainty 


respecting  law,  and  other  disputes  of  less  im- 
portance, by  which  the  province  had  been  so  long 
distracted.'  x 

At  almost  any  time  in  Canadian  history  between 
1783  and  1867,  when  British  North  America  was 
federated  into  a  dominion,  the  arguments  for 
having  one  Canada  or  two  Canadas  (exclusive  of 
the  Maritime  Provinces)  left  little  to  choose 
between  them.  There  were  obvious  advantages 
and  obvious  disadvantages  in  either  alternative. 
The  division  into  two  provinces  led  to  the  following 
among  other  difficulties.  As  is  pointed  out  in 
Lord  Durham's  Report,  it  tended  to  widen  the  gulf 
between  French  and  English  by  marking  out  one 
part  of  Canada  for  the  French  and  the  other  for 
the  English.  At  the  same  time  it  did  not  effect 
the  object  which  the  framers  of  the  1791  Act 
contemplated,  of  preventing  conflict  between  the 
two  races  by  giving  them  separate  spheres  of 
influence  ;  for  in  the  French  province  there  came 
into  being  an  English  district,  the  townships  as 
opposed  to  the  seigniories,  the  settlers  in  which,  for 
many  years,  were  not  represented  in  the  Quebec 
Legislature  and  keenly  resented  French  domination. 

The  division  of  the  provinces  again  necessarily 
involved  divided  executive  authority  in  an  area 
over  which  it  was  clearly  desirable  that  there 
should  be  one  supreme  head.  Nominally  there  was 
a  Governor-General  of  the  two  Canadas,  and  the 
Governor  of  Upper  Canada  only  bore  the  title  of 
Lieutenant-Governor :  but  for  all  practical  pur- 

1  Parliamentary  Rajistir  1791,  vol.  xxviii,  p.  514,  Debate  of  ilaivh  1 


poses  the  Governor- General  soon  became  Governor 
of  Lower  Canada  only,  and  the  substitution  of  two 
Governors  for  one  militated  against  uniformity  of 
policy  and  tended  to  weaken  the  executive  power 
in  the  face  of  growing  democracy.     Once  more, 
the  division  of  the  two  provinces,  as  the  dividing 
line  was  drawn,  created  a  purely  inland  colony, 
whose  outlet  to  the  sea  was  either  through  the 
sister  colony  or  through  a  foreign  country.     The 
result  of  this  was  to  make  Upper  Canada,  as  far 
as  customs  duties  were  concerned,  dependent  upon 
Lower  Canada,  and  thereby  to  create  a  perpetual 
dispute  between  the  two  provinces.    The  Imperial 
Canada  Trade  Act  of   1822    was  an  attempt  to 
remove  this  cause  of  friction. 
v  It  may  be  summed  up  that  from  1791  onward 
until  Lord  Durham's  time  there  were,  exclusive 
of  what  are  now  the  Maritime  Provinces  of  the 
Dominion,  two  Canadas,  one  mainly  French,  the 
other    mainly    English,    each    province    enjoying 
representative    institutions    without    responsible 
government,   and   the  Legislatures  consisting    in 
either  case  of  a  nominated  Legislative  Council  and 
an  elected  Assembly.    There  were  thus  obvious  and 
abundant  opportunities  for  friction  ;  between  the 
Governors,  as  occurred  at  the  outset  between  Lord 
Dorchester  and  Simcoe  ;  between  the   provinces, 
for  the  reason  already  given  ;  between  the  races 
and  religions,  wherever  French  and  English  were 
brought   into   close   contact ;     between   the   two 
houses  of  the  Legislature — a  species  of  political  fric- 
tion which  is  common  everywhere  ;    between  the 
executive  power  on  the  one  hand  as  represented 

1352-1  D 


by  the  Crown  and  the  officers  of  the  Crown, 
especially  the  Governor,  and  on  the  other  the 
Legislature,  or  rather  the  elected  branch  of  the 
Legislature,  the  main  ground  of  dispute  being 
control  of  the  public  purse.  On  the  whole  it  may 
fairly  be  said  that  the  history  of  Canada  from  1791 
to  the  time  of  Lord  Durham's  mission  is,  with  the 
exception  of  one  interlude,  the  war  of  1812,  a 
record  of  friction  of  this  last-named  kind,  coloured 
by  race  feeling  and  by  the  special  conditions  of 
the  respective  provinces. 

When  the  two  Canadas  received  representative 
institutions,  the  French  Canadians  were  thereby 
given  a  machinery  which  was  familiar  to  English- 
men, but  which  had  never  previously  been  handled 
by  Frenchmen  in  America.  The  French  population 
consisted  of  an  intensely  conservative  gentry  and 
a  wholly  uneducated  peasantry,  both  dominated 
by  a  Church,  the  essence  of  which  was  absolutism. 
As  far  as  the  French  Canadians  had  any  guidance 
in  handling  their  new  tools,  it  came  from  the 
British  minority  in  Quebec  and  Montreal ;  but  not 
many  years  passed  before  the  French  began  to 
better  their  instruction.  With  the  early  years 
of  the  nineteenth  century  Nationalist  views  gained 
ground,  a  French  Canadian  press  came  into 
existence,  and,  while  French  and  English  more  or 
less  combined  against  an  administration  which 
was  out  of  touch  with  the  people,  and  various 
officers  of  which,  sent  out  from  home,  were 
notoriously  unfit  for  their  posts,  the  line  of  race 
cleavage  became  more  and  more  distinct,  and  the 
struggle  for  popular  control  of  the  finances  was 


embittered  by  being  fought  with  French  acuteness 
and  French  impatience  of  compromise.  Mean- 
while Upper  Canada,  though  as  a  whole  intensely 
loyal  to  the  British  Crown,  was  leavened  to 
some  extent  by  American  immigration. 

It  has  been  stated  that,  during  the  earlier  years 
of  British  rule  in  Canada,  military  men  proved 
themselves  to  be  sympathetic  Governors  of  the 
French  Canadians.  As  time  went  on,  and  the 
Canadians  grew  towards  political  manhood,  the 
soldier,  unless  he  was  an  exceptional  man,  was 
less  likely  than  had  previously  been  the  case  to 
be  in  harmony  with  conditions  which  were  becom- 
ing increasingly  democratic.  In  1807,  after  a  long 
interregnum,  Sir  James  Craig  came  out  as  Governor- 
General,  a  soldier  of  tried  worth,  but  with  a  soldier's 
views  of  discipline,  which  were  not  softened  by  ill 
health.  He  came  into  collision  with  the  elected 
chamber  of  the  Legislature  in  Lower  Canada,  had 
resort  to  repeated  dissolutions,  and  put  down  with 
a  high  hand  the  Nationalist  paper  Le  Canadien, 
which  persistently  vilified  the  Government.  In 
a  long  dispatch  to  the  Secretary  of  State,  written 
in  May  1810,  in  which  he  reviewed  existing  con- 
ditions in  Lower  Canada,  Craig  represented  French 
and  English  in  the  province  as  bitterly  opposed  to 
each  other.  *  The  line  of  distinction  between  us,' 
he  wrote,  'is  completely  drawn;  friendship,  cor- 
diality are  not  to  be  found,  even  common  inter- 
course scarcely  exists.'  But,  though  the  sentiment 
of  French  Canadian  nationality  was  gathering 
force  year  by  year,  the  struggle  at  this  time  was 
not  so  much  a  race  conflict  as  a  squabble  between 

D  2 


the   Executive   and  the  Legislature,  one   of  the 
Governor's  leading  opponents,  whom  he  relieved 
of   the   office   of   Solicitor-General,   being   James 
Stuart,  who  was  the  son  of  a  United   Empire 
Loyalist,  and  who  in  after  years  was  appointed 
by  Lord  Durham  to  be  Chief  Justice  of  Canada. 
It  was  during  the  governorship  of  Sir  James  Craig, 
in  the  year  1810,  that  the  Quebec  House  of  Assem- 
bly, in  view  of  the  prosperity  of  the  province, 
offered  to  take  upon  themselves  for  the  time  being 
the  whole  charge  of  the  civil  administration.    This 
offer,  which  came  to  nothing  at  the  time,  was  much 
quoted  at  a  later  date.    It  meant  that  the  elected 
representatives  realized  that  power  is  in  the  hands 
of  those  who  pay,  and  that  so  long  as  the  Imperial 
Government,  either  by  direct  subsidies,  or  from 
territorial  revenues,  or  from  taxes  levied  under 
permanent  Acts,  paid  a  large  proportion  of  the 
cost  of  the  civil  government  of  Canada,  so  long 
would  the  power  be  in  the  hands  of  the  Governor 
and  his  officers  as  being  the  servants  of  the  Imperial 
Government,  and  not  in  the  hands  of  the  Assembly 
which  represented  the  people  of  Canada.    Sir  James 
Craig  left  Canada  in    1811.     His   successor,   Sir 
George  Prevost,  was  a  man  of  very  different  stamp. 
Prevost    set    himself    to    conciliate    the    French 
Canadians,  and  in  that  respect  did  good  service 
to  the  Empire  during  the  war  of  1812,  though  in 
the  actual  operations  of  the  war  he  did  not  dis- 
tinguish himself.     Quebec  was  little  troubled  by 
the  war,  and  the  Assembly  which  sat  there  con- 
tinued to  a  large  extent  its  vendetta  against  the 
existing  system,  impeaching  the  Chief  Justice  of 


Lower  Canada  on  the  ridiculous  charge  of  having 
conspired  against  the  civil  liberties  of  the  people. 
The  war,  however,  had  beyond  question  a  whole- 
some effect  in  softening,  under  the  influence  of 
common  danger,  the  jealousies  and  the  animosities 
of  race.  French  and  English  stood  shoulder  to 
shoulder  to  repel  invasion,  and  some  sense  of  unity 
came  into  Canada,  effective  at  the  time  in  reducing 
friction,  salutary  in  after  years  as  a  memory  of 
common  patriotism.  The  brunt  of  the  war  fell 
upon  Upper  Canada,  with  the  result  that  in  this 
province,  for  the  time  being,  all  constitutional 
wrangles  were  swallowed  up  in  a  fight  for  national 
existence,  and  that  the  loyalty  of  the  Loyalists  to 
the  British  connexion  was  intensified.  It  may  be 
said  in  brief  that  the  war  of  1812  did  not  affect 
the  continuity  of  history  in  the  Lower  Province, 
whereas  in  the  Upper  Province  it  made  a  complete 
break  and  supplied  a  new  starting-point. 

The  war  ended,  and  the  old  difficulties  revived. 
In  Lower  Canada  the  judges  were  still  harried  by 
the  Legislature.  In  Upper  Canada  the  loyalty  of 
those  who  had  fought  and  suffered  was  tried  by 
delays  in  settling  arrears  of  pay  and  in  giving 
grants  of  land,  while  the  development  of  the 
province  was  retarded  by  restrictions  on  American 
immigration,  which  at  the  time  were  neither 
unreasonable  nor  unnecessary,  as  well  as  by  the 
amount  of  land  which  was  locked  up  in  Crown  and 
Clergy  reserves.  In  1816  Sir  John  Sherbrooke  was 


appointed  Governor-in-Chief  of  the  two  Canadas, 
and  once  more  proved  that  a  good  soldier  may 
be  also  a  tactful  and  diplomatic  administrator. 


Unfortunately  his  term  of  office  was  shortened  by 
ill  health,  and  only  lasted  for  two  years.  Handling 
the  political  situation  in  Lower  Canada  with  much 
skill,  Sherbrooke  brought  to  an  end  the  quarrel 
with  the  judges.  He  detached  support  from 
Stuart,  still  a  pronounced  opponent  of  the  Govern- 
ment, with  the  result  that  the  latter  for  the  time 
being  retired  into  private  life,  and  he  worked  in 
harmony  with  the  Speaker  of  the  Assembly,  the 
future  leader  of  rebellion  in  Lower  Canada — Louis 
Papineau.  He  then  took  stock  of  the  finances  of 
the  provinces,  which  during  the  war  had  fallen 
into  some  confusion,  and  he  warned  the  Secretary 
of  State  of  the  fact,  which  previously  does  not 
appear  to  have  been  fully  appreciated  at  the 
Colonial  Office,  that  the  civil  administration  could 
not  be  carried  on  independently  of  the  votes  of  the 
elected  Assembly.  It  was  on  this  point  that  the 
whole  future  conflict  turned.  Had  the  revenues 
which  were  at  the  disposal  of  the  Crown  been 
sufficient  to  meet  the  cost  of  the  administration, 
the  opposition  of  the  Assembly  to  the  Government 
would  have  had  little  practical  effect,  and  there 
would  have  been  no  adequate  lever  for  the  grant  of 
responsible  government ;  but,  inasmuch  as  those 
revenues  did  not  cover  the  annual  charges  of  govern- 
ment, and  the  taxpayers  of  the  United  Kingdom 
could  not  be  asked  to  make  good  the  deficit,  the 
executive  power  in  Canada  was  so  far  at  the  mercy 
of  the  elected  Assembly. 

The  result  of  Sherbrooke's  correspondence  on 
this  subject  with  Lord  Bathurst,  the  Secretary  of 
State,  was  that  in  the  session  of  1818  the  Governor- 


General  laid  the  estimates  of  the  year  before  the 
Assembly,  showing  clearly  what  was  the  total 
estimated  expenditure,  what  proportion  of  the 
total  was  covered  by  revenue  at  the  disposal  of  the 
Crown,  and  how  much  the  Legislature  was  asked  to 
provide.  He  reminded  the  Assembly  of  the  offer 
made  by  the  elected  representatives  in  1810  to 
take  upon  themselves  the  whole  cost  of  the  civil 
administration,  and  after  considerable  debate  the 
Assembly  voted  the  sum  whereby  the  total  expendi- 
ture of  the  year  exceeded  the  revenue  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Crown. 

This  result  was  largely  due  to  personal  respect 
for  Sherbrooke,  and  the  Assembly  was  not  minded 
to  make  permanent  provision  for  the  expenses  of 
the  civil  administration  in  the  form  of  a  Civil  List, 
as  the  Home  Government  desired.  Sherbrooke's 
successor,  the  Duke  of  Richmond,  had  therefore, 
in  the  following  year,  to  face  the  same  difficulty, 
and  to  face  it  without  Sherbrooke's  tact  and 
influence.  The  estimates  which  he  laid  before  the 
Assembly  unfortunately  showed  a  large  increase 
on  the  expenditure  side,  and  the  Assembly  took 
upon  themselves  to  recast  the  budget,  scrutinizing 
all  the  separate  items,  including  the  charges  against 
the  Crown  revenues,  and  reducing  or  omitting 
salaries  at  will.  In  their  reckless  procedure  they 
arrogated  to  themselves  control  of  the  finances  to 
an  extent  which  would  not  be  paralleled  at  the 
present  day  either  in  the  British  House  of  Commons 
or  in  any  colonial  Parliament.  The  Bill  which  they 
sent  up  to  the  Legislative  Council  was  promptly 
and  rightly  thrown  out  by  that  body,  and  a  crisis 


then  began  which  years  afterwards  ended  in  armed 
rebellion,  in  the  suspension  of  the  constitution  in 
Lower  Canada,  and  in  Lord  Durham's  mission. 

The  revenues  at  the  disposal  of  the  Crown  in 
Lower  Canada  were  twofold.  There  were  in  the 
first  place  certain  rents  and  dues  which  had  been 
paid  to  the  French  King  and  which  had  passed  to 
his  successor  in  title.  They  were  known  as  the 
casual  and  territorial  revenues  of  the  Crown. 
*  They  are  enjoyed  by  the  Crown,'  Lord  Aylmer 
informed  the  Assembly  in  1831,  'by  virtue  of  the 
Royal  Prerogative,  and  are  neither  more  nor  less 
than  the  proceeds  of  landed  property,  which  legally 
and  constitutionally  belongs  to  the  Sovereign  on 
the  throne.' *  In  the  second  place,  there  were  the 
proceeds  of  certain  taxes  imposed  by  law,  mainly 
the  customs  and  licence  duties  received  under  the 
Imperial  Quebec  Revenue  Act  of  1774.  These 
latter  receipts,  more  especially,  the  Quebec  Assem- 
bly designed  to  secure  under  their  own  control ; 
on  the  other  hand  they  were  the  quid  pro  quo,  by 
which  the  Imperial  Government  might  hope  to 
effect  its  object  of  obtaining  a  more  or  less  perma- 
nent Civil  List. 

In  asking  for  a  Civil  List  for  the  life  of  the  King, 
the  Imperial  Government  were  only  proposing  that 
the  practice  which  prevailed  at  the  time  in  England 
should  be  followed  in  Canada.  Prior  to  the 
accession  of  King  William  the  Fourth,  the  term 
Civil  List  purported  to  mean  the  provision  made 
out  of  the  hereditary  revenues  of  the  Crown, 

1  Canada  Crown  Revenues :  Return  to  an  Address  of  the  House  of 
Commons,  July  1831,  p.  3. 


supplemented  by  the  proceeds  of  certain  taxes, 
which  were  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  reigning 
sovereign  to  cover  the  ordinary  civil  expenses  of 
the  State  (other  than  debt  charges),  including  the 
expenses  of  the  Court  and  the  Royal  Household. 
The  recalcitrant  Assembly  in  Lower  Canada  con- 
tended that  the  conditions  of  the  province  differed 
from  those  of  England  and  would  not  allow  of 
more  than  annual  votes :  they  also  contended 
that  the  Civil  List  as  proposed  for  Canada  was 
more  extensive  than  the  Civil  List  of  the  United 
Kingdom.  Their  contentions  were  ill  founded  : 
they  were  the  contentions  of  a  body  of  men  who 
were  mainly  French  in  race  and  in  cast  of  mind ; 
and  who,  being  French,  and  having  tasted  the 
beginnings  of  political  freedom,  were  intolerant  of 
compromise.  They  wanted  not  merely  the  powers 
which  the  British  House  of  Commons  enjoyed,  but 
more  also.  Oh  the  other  hand,  Lord  Bathurst 
was  insistent  that  the  Assembly  should  have  no 
authority  to  dispose  of  public  money  without  the 
concurrence  of  the  Upper  Chamber,  the  Legislative^ 
Council,  thereby  restricting  the  powers  of  the 
Assembly  as  compared  with  those  of  the  House  of 
Commons.  There  was  thus  a  great  gulf  fixed 
between  the  democrats  and  demagogues  of  Lower 
Canada  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  conservative 
Imperial  Government  on  the  other,  but  there  wras 
still,  at  any  rate,  the  semblance  of  loyalty  to  the 
Crown ;  for,  when  King  George  the  Third  died, 
Louis  Papineau  took  occasion  to  deliver  an 
eloquent  eulogy  on  the  blessings  which  Canada 
owed  to  British  rule. 


The  Duke  of  Richmond  was  a  Tory  of  the  old 
school.  He  formulated  for  the  confidential  con- 
sideration of  the  Secretary  of  State  proposals  which 
were  probably  illegal,  and  were  certainly  imprac- 
ticable, whereby  sufficient  revenue  should  be 
secured  to  the  Crown  to  make  the  Government  of 
Lower  Canada  independent  of  the  Legislature. 
His  death  under  tragic  circumstances,  after  he  had 
only  held  office  for  one  year,  prevented  any  consti- 
tutional experiments  such  as  he  suggested  from 
being  tried.  An  able  and  high-minded  Governor 
succeeded  him,  the  Earl  of  Dalhousie.  He  took  up 
his  duties  in  June  1820,  and  did  not  finally  leave 
Canada  until  September  1828.  During  the  term 
of  his  government  the  quarrel  between  the  Execu- 
tive and  the  Legislature  became  more  and  more 
embittered,  and  tended  more  and  more  to  follow 
the  lines  of  race.  Unreasoning  and  unreasonable, 
the  French  Canadian  majority  in  the  Quebec  House 
of  Assembly  stand  condemned  by  their  persistent 
hostility  to  a  ruler  so  courteous  and  so  public- 
spirited  as  was  Lord  Dalhousie.  It  must  be  borne 
in  mind  that  the  democratic  movement  in  Canada 
was  coincident  with  and  parallel  to  the  democratic 
movement  in  the  United  Kingdom.  England  \\  as 
gradually  moving  towards  the  great  Reform  Bill, 
while  Papiiieau  and  his  colleagues  were  refusing 
supplies  and  making  speeches  in  Canada ;  but 
there  was  no  slow  broadening  out  in  French 
Canada  ;  and  there  was  greater  haste  and  bitter- 
ness in  fighting  for  the  fullness  of  liberty,  in  that  the 
existing  instalment  of  freedom  had  not  been  earned 
by  long  years  of  training  and  of  steady  growth. 


Lord  Dalhousie's  instructions  were  to  aim  at 
securing  '  the  permanent  assignment  of  a  fixed 
annual  revenue  to  meet  the  charge  of  such  a  Civil 
List  as  the  Province  requires  for  its  proper  adminis- 
tration '-1  This  was  precisely  what  the  Quebec 
Assembly  was  determined  not  to  concede.  In 
their  crusade  against  the  Government  the  legis- 
lators of  Lower  Canada  had  been  able  to  point  to 
sinecures,  to  abuses  in  salaries  and  pensions,  which 
they  contended  should  be  abolished,  before  the 
people  were  asked  to  make  good  an  expenditure 
which  included  such  items.  The  abuses  existed 
and  were  notorious,  but  they  were  not  peculiar 
to  Canada  :  they  were  rife  in  England  also  ;  and 
such  Governors  as  Sherbrooke  and  Dalhousie 
objected  to  them  as  much  as  did  Papineau  and  his 
friends.  Their  existence,  however,  gave  material 
for  agitation  to  the  popular  party,  and  so  did  the 
defalcation  of  the  Receiver-General  of  Canada,  an 
Imperial  officer,  which  came  to  light  in  1823. 
When  Dalhousie  first  met  the  Legislature  in 
December  1820,  he  set  out  clearly  the  average 
and  recurrent  cost  of  the  civil  administration  of 
Lower  Canada,  and  invited  the  Assembly  to  make 
permanent  and  adequate  provision  for  it.  The 
Assembly  refused  to  give  more  than  a  vote  for  one 
year,  and  in  doing  so  they  introduced  new  items 
of  expenditure  and  assumed  control  of  the  Crown 
revenues.  Their  Bill  went  up  to  the  Legislative 
Council,  who  threw  it  out  and  coupled  the  rejection 
with  strongly  worded  resolutions,  the  result  of  the 
quarrel  between  the  two  Houses  being  that  the 

1  Dispatch  of  Lord  Bathurst,  September  11,  1820. 


Governor  was  left  without  any  legal  authority  to 
meet  the  expenditure  of  the  year.  In  December 
1821  the  Legislature  met  again,  and  it  was  made 
clearer  than  before  that  the  Assembly  were  only 
asked  to  make  permanent  provision  for  permanent 
expenditure,  casual  contingencies  being  left  to  be 
covered  by  annual  votes.  This  time  the  direct 
issue  was  raised  by  a  motion  in  the  House  that 
permanent  provision  should  be  made  for  the 
support  of  the  civil  administration  of  the  province 
during  the  life  of  the  King.  The  motion  was  lost 
by  a  majority  of  six  to  one  ;  the  Assembly  then 
embodied  their  grievances  and  views  in  an  address 
to  the  King,  refused  to  vote  the  necessary  supplies 
for  the  coming  year,  and  refused  also  or  threatened 
to  refuse  to  renew  certain  expiring  Revenue  Acts, 
so  as  entirely  to  cripple  the  Executive  for  want  of 

At  the  same  time,  and  by  the  same  action,  they 
were  crippling  Upper  Canada,  which  was  entitled 
to  a  share  of  the  customs  duties  under  the  Acts  in 
question ;  and  already  the  Upper  Province,  unable 
to  obtain  a  satisfactory  adjustment  of  its  financial 
relations  with  Lower  Canada,  had  asked  for  the 
intervention  of  the  Imperial  Government.  The 
result  was  that  in  June  1822  the  Under-Secretary  f  or 
the  Colonies,  Wilmot,  afterwards  Wilmot  Horton, 
introduced  a  Bill  into  the  House  of  Commons, 
'  to  make  more  effectual  provision  for  the  govern- 
ment of  the  Provinces  of  Lower  and  Upper  Canada, 
and  to  regulate  the  trade  thereof.'  The  Bill  pro- 
vided for  reunion  of  the  provinces  ;  it  was  strongly 
supported  on  the  Liberal  side  of  the  House  by 


'  Bear  '  Ellice,  with  whom  it  had  in  fact  originated  ; 
but  it  was  opposed  by  Mackintosh  and  some  other 
Radical  members,  not  so  much  on  its  merits  as  on 
the  ground  that  the  peoples  and  legislatures  of  the 
two  provinces  had  not  been  given  an  opportunity 
of  expressing  their  views.  In  consequence  of  this 
opposition,  as  the  session  was  drawing  to  a  close,  the 
Government  contented  themselves  with  legislating 
on  the  subject  of  the  financial  relations  between 
the  two  provinces,  leaving  the  wider  question  of 
reunion  to  stand  over  for  another  session.  Thus 
the  Canada  Trade  Act  was  passed  on  the  5th  of 
August  1822,  and  by  its  terms  the  Quebec  Legis- 
lature was  restricted  from  varying  the  customs 
duties  levied  at  the  ports  of  Lower  Canada  to  the 
detriment  of  the  Upper  Province.  Under  existing 
conditions  the  Act  was  both  necessary  and  salutary, 
but  it  was  avowedly  only  an  instalment,  and  the 
matter  as  a  whole  was  badly  handled.  The  British 
Government  made  the  mistake  so  common  in  the 
colonial  history  of  Great  Britain,  of  putting  their 
hand  to  the  plough  and  looking  back.  They  went 
forward,  and  stopped  half-way.  They  proposed 
a  large  constitutional  change,  and,  having  given 
their  scheme  to  the  public,  they  did  not  carry  the 
change  through.  At  the  same  time  they  went  far 
enough  to  override  by  Imperial  legislation  the 
representative  Assembly  of  Lower  Canada  and  to 
restrain  their  taxing  powers.  In  short,  there  was 
interference  from  home  with  a  colonial  legislature, 
enough  to  irritate,  but  not  enough  to  cure  more 
than  a  part  of  the  evil  which  it  was  sought  to 
remedy.  In  speaking  on  the  Reunion  Bill  Ellice 


warned  the  House  of  Commons  that  '  the  only 
consequence  of  delay  would  be  the  excitement  of 
feelings  of  animosity  between  the  English  and 
French  inhabitants  in  the  meantime,  and  that  the 
House  ultimately  would  find  it  absolutely  necessary 
to  pass  the  Bill  V  and  years  afterwards  Lord 
Durham  wrote  in  his  Report  (ii.  47) : 

'  It  is  said  that  the  appeals  to  the  national  pride 
and  animosities  of  the  French  became  more  direct 
and  general  on  the  occasion  of  the  abortive  attempt 
to  reunite  Upper  and  Lower  Canada  in  1822,  which 
the  leaders  of  the  Assembly  viewed  or  represented 
as  a  blow  aimed  at  the  institutions  of  their  province. 
The  anger  of  the  English  was  excited  by  the 
denunciations  of  themselves  which,  subsequently 
to  this  period,  they  were  in  the  habit  of  hearing.' 

It  had  been  intended  by  the  Home  Government 
to  take  up  again  the  Reunion  Bill,  as  soon  as  the 
people  of  Canada  had  had  time  to  express  their 
views  upon  it ;  but  the  reception  of  the  Bill  in  the 
two  provinces  was  on  the  whole  so  unfavourable 
that  no  more  was  heard  of  it  in  the  House  of 
Commons.  In  Upper  Canada  opinion  was  divided, 
but  such  leading  men  as  Dr.  Strachan  and  Beverley 
Robinson  were  opposed  to  it.  In  Lower  Canada 
the  French  Canadians  were  heart-whole  in  their 
opposition.  They  regarded  the  Bill,  or  professed 
to  regard  it,  as  an  attempt  to  *  anglify ' — to 
denationalize  French  Canada.  The  English  in  the 
province  were  divided  ;  only  in  the  Eastern  Town- 
ships, unrepresented  in  the  Quebec  Legislature 
and  chafing  against  French  indifference  to  their 

1  Hansard  for  1822,  vol.  vii,  p.  1709 


interests,  was  there  strong  and  solid  backing  of 
the  Bill.  The  opponents  of  the  measure  at  Montreal 
and  Quebec  sent  Papineau  and  John  Neilson,  the 
latter  being  a  Scotchman  and  a  journalist,  as  their 
spokesmen  to  England  :  while  Stuart,  no  longer  in 
line  with  the  French,  took  the  lead  of  the  party 
who  favoured  reunion. 

Papineau' s  absence,  and  appreciation  of  the  fact 
that  the  Canada  Trade  Act  had  been  passed  and 
that  a  Reunion  Bill  was  pending,  made  the  Quebec 
Legislature,  which  met  again  in  January  1823,  more 
amenable  than  before.  The  estimates,  as  presented 
to  the  Assembly,  were  divided  into  two  schedules, 
one  of  which  contained  the  general  or  permanent 
establishments,  the  cost  of  which  was  covered  by 
the  Crown  revenues  ;  the  other  contained  what 
were  termed  local  establishments,  for  which  the 
Assembly  was  asked  to  provide.  The  necessary 
supplies  were  voted,  other  useful  work  was  done, 
and  Lord  Dalhousie  closed  the  session  with  compli- 
ments and  thanks. 

Soon  after  its  close  the  announcement  was  made 
that  the  Imperial  Government  would  not  proceed 
with  the  Reunion  Bill.  Papineau  came  back  to 
Quebec  and  to  the  Legislature  ;  and,  when  the 
Assembly  met  again  towards  the  end  of  November 
1823,  for  the  last  session  of  an  expiring  Parliament, 
the  irreconcilables  had  it  their  own  way.  Papineau 
distinguished  himself  by  personalities  against  the 
Governor ;  and  when  the  estimates  were  brought 
in,  arranged  in  two  schedules  as  before,  he  and  his 
followers  assumed  control  of  the  whole  finances 
and  of  all  the  establishments,  and  reduced  the 


salaries,  including  the  Governor's,  by  25  per  cent. 
The  Bill  which  embodied  these  proceedings  was  at 
once  thrown  out  by  the  Legislative  Council.  In 
this  session,  which  lasted  till  the  9th  of  March 
1824,  the  majority  of  the  Quebec  Legislature  found 
occasion  to  flout  the  wishes  and  injure  the  interests 
of  the  people  of  Upper  Canada,  as  well  as  to  cripple 
the  administration  and  check  the  progress  of  their 
own  province  ;  and  when  Lord  Dalhousie  closed 
the  session,  he  pointed  out  the  grave  mischief 
which  had  resulted  from  the  unwarranted  and 
unconstitutional  claim  of  the  one  branch  of  the 
Legislature  '  to  appropriate  the  whole  revenue  of 
the  province  according  to  its  pleasure  ',  and  the 
withholding  of  supplies  in  order  to  enforce  the 
claim.  '  This  subject,'  he  continued,  '  has  occupied 
every  session  from  the  first  to  the  last,  and  is  now 
transmitted  to  those  which  shall  follow.  It  has 
caused  incalculable  mischief  to  the  province  ;  and 
now  leaves  it  to  struggle  under  difficulties,  while 
every  inhabitant  of  it  must  see  that  the  encouraging 
aid  of  the  Legislature  is  alone  wanting  to  arouse 
powerful  exertions  and  draw  forth  those  resources 
which,  without  that  aid,  must,  in  a  great  measure, 
be  dormant  and  useless  within  its  reach.' 

On  the  6th  of  June,  1824,  Lord  Dalhousie  sailed 
for  England  on  leave  of  absence,  and  the  Lieutenant- 
Go  vernor,  Sir  Francis  Burton,  took  over  the 
administration.  Burton's  case  was  one  of  those 
which  had  given  the  Quebec  Assembly  substantial 
ground  for  complaint.  His  commission  as  Lieu- 
tenant-Go vernor  was  dated  November  1808,  but 
he  did  not  go  out  to  Canada  till  1822,  after  his 


absence  had  called  forth  remonstrances  from  the 
Legislature.     Notwithstanding,  he  seems  to  have 
attained  considerable  popularity  among  the  French 
Canadians,  possibly  because  the  opponents  of  the 
Government   hoped   thereby  to  emphasize  their 
antipathy  to  Lord  Dalhousie.     A  general  election 
was  held  in  July  and  August ;   and  in  the  following 
January  the  new  Legislature  met,  Papineau  being 
again  chosen  as  Speaker,  and  an  opportunity  being 
found  by  the  Government  in  the  course  of  the 
session  to  secure  their  former  opponent,  James 
Stuart,  for  the  post  of  Attorney-  General.      The 
Lieutenant-Governor  brought  in  the  estimates  in 
a  different  form  from  that  which  had  been  adopted 
by    Lord    Dalhousie.      He    abandoned    the    two 
schedules,  and  with  them  the  distinction  which 
had  been  drawn  between  the  charges  against  per- 
manent funds  and  those  for  which  local  votes  were 
required.      The    estimates    which    he    presented 
treated  the  whole  expenditure  as  one,  and  he  asked 
the  Assembly  to  vote  a  sum  sufficient  to  cover  the 
excess  of  the  total  expenditure  over  the  revenue 
provided  by  law.    The  Assembly  went  through  the 
whole  estimates,  including  the  permanent  establish- 
ments, and,  after  making  large  reductions,  voted 
the  sum  which  they  considered  to  be  adequate  for 
one  year.     They  had  now,  so  they  thought  and 
hoped,   made    good    their    claim   to   control   the 
disposal   of   all  revenues,  permanent  as  well  as 
temporary,  and  to  give  supply  only  from  year  to 
year.    So  they  held,  and  Lord  Bathurst  interpreted 
what  had  taken  place  in  much  the  same  sense, 
for,  in  a  dispatch  dated  the  4th  of  June  1825,  he 

1352-1  E 


severely  censured  Sir  Francis  Burton.  Burton,  it 
afterwards  appeared,  had  acted  with  imperfect 
knowledge  of  previous  instructions,  and  was 
consequently  exculpated.  The  instructions  to 
the  Governor-General,  said  Lord  Bathurst,  in  the 
dispatch  referred  to,  had  imposed  upon  him 

'  the  necessity  of  refusing  all  arrangements  that 
went  in  any  degree  to  compromise  the  integrity  of 
the  revenue  known  by  the  name  of  the  permanent 
revenue  ;  and  it  appears  to  me,  on  a  careful 
examination  of  the  measures  which  have  been 
adopted,  that  they  are  at  variance  with  those 
specified  and  positive  instructions.  The  Executive 
Government  had  sent  in  an  estimate  in  which  110 
distinction  was  made  between  the  expenditure 
chargeable  upon  the  permanent  revenue  of  the 
Crown  and  that  which  remained  to  be  provided  for 
out  of  the  revenues  raised  under  colonial  Acts.  In 
other  words,  had  the  whole  revenue  been  raised 
under  colonial  Acts,  there  would  have  been  no 
difference  in  the  manner  of  sending  in  the  estimates. 
.  .  .  Instead  of  the  King's  permanent  revenue 
having  certain  fixed  charges  placed  upon  it,  of 
which  the  Assembly  were  made  cognisant,  the 
revenue  was  pledged  together  with  the  colonial 
revenue,  as  the  ways  and  means  of  providing  for 
the  expenses  of  the  year.  .  .  .  The  consequence  of 
this  arrangement  is,  that  the  permanent  revenue 
will  not  be  applied  for  the  payment  of  such  expenses 
as  His  Majesty  may  deem  fit,  but  on  the  contrary, 
for  the  payment  of  whatever  expenses  the  colonial 
Legislature  may  think  necessary.'  x 

This  misunderstanding  about  the  estimates  made 
Lord  Dalhousie's  position  more  difficult  than  ever. 

1  This  dispatch  will  be  found  printed  at  pp.  93-4  of  vol.  iii  of  Christie's 
History  of  Lower  Canada. 


He  returned  from  England  in  September  1825  : 
the  Legislature  met  again  in  January  1826,  and 
in  February  he  laid  before  them  the  estimates, 
divided  into  two  parts,  as  they  had  been  before 
Sir  Francis  Burton  tried  his  hand  at  compromise. 
The  Secretary  of  State's  criticism  of  Burton  was 
communicated  to  the  Assembly  later  in  the  session, 
but  the  only  result,  as  far  as  the  Assembly  were 
concerned,  was  an  Appropriation  Bill  in  the  same 
form  as  that  to  which  Lord  Bathurst  had  taken 
exception,  and  a  claim,  formulated  at  once  in 
Resolutions  of  the  House  and  in  an  Address  to  the 
King,  '  that  to  the  Legislature  alone  appertains 
the  right  of  distributing  all  monies  levied  in  the 
colonies.'  Lord  Dalhousie,  on  the  other  hand,  in 
proroguing  the  Legislature,  intimated  very  cour- 
teously that  he  must  continue  to  adopt  the  form 
of  estimates  '  showing  to  you  one  branch  of  the 
revenue  for  your  information,  and  the  other  branch 
for  your  appropriation  '.* 

In  the  next  session,  however,  which  opened  in 
January  1827,  Lord  Dalhousie  did  make  a  change 
in  the  form  in  which  he  presented  the  estimates 
to  the  Assembly,  for  he  laid  before  them  an  estimate 
of  that  portion  only  of  the  year's  expenditure  which 
would  not  be  a  charge  against  permanent  revenues, 
thus  removing  the  latter  from  the  purview  of  the 
elected  representatives.  The  latter  retorted  by 
practically  refusing  supply,  and  they  added  to  the 
difficulties  of  the  Government  by  refusing  to  renew 
the  militia  laws,  and  thereby  recalling  into  existence 
two  old  ordinances  on  the  subject,  which  the 

1  Christie,  vol.  iii,  pp.  106-7. 
E  2 


Governor-General  found  himself  bound  to  enforce, 
and  in  enforcing  which  he  encountered  disloyalty 
and  intrigue. 

In  July  1827  he  dissolved  the  Parliament : 
a  general  election  left  matters  much  as  they  were  : 
the  new  Legislature  met  in  November  :  Papineau 
was  again  chosen  as  Speaker :  in  view  of  his 
virulent  opposition  to  the  Government  and  personal 
insults  to  the  head  of  the  Government,  Lord  Dal- 
housie  refused  to  confirm  the  choice  :  and,  as  the 
majority  of  the  Assembly  upheld  their  champion, 
the  Legislature  was  prorogued  before  any  business 
had  been  transacted.  Petitions  and  counter -peti- 
tions were  now  drawn  up,  and  delegates  were  sent 
to  England  in  the  Spring  of  1828.  Shortly  after 
their  departure,  Lord  Dalhousie  learnt  that  he  had 
been  appointed  to  be  commander-in-chief  of  the 
forces  in  India,  and  in  September  1828  he  finally 
left  Canada,  having,  in  an  impossible  position  and 
amid  every  form  of  malignant  misrepresentation, 
held  the  reins  of  government  with  dignity,  impar- 
tiality, and  a  single  eye  to  the  welfare  of  the 
Canadian  people. 

In  England  there  had  been  changes.  In  April 
1827  Lord  Liverpool  resigned,  and  Lord  Bathurst 
left  the  Colonial  Office,  having  presided  over  it  for 
a  longer  time  than  any  Secretary  of  State  before  or 
since.  For  three  and  a  half  months  in  Canning's 
administration  Lord  Goderich  was  Colonial  Secre- 
tary. In  July  1827  he  wrote  a  dispatch  offering 
to  hand  over  the  revenues  of  the  Crown  to  the 
Assembly  in  exchange  for  a  Civil  List  of  £36,000  per 
annum,  but,  as  the  Assembly  never  met  for  business, 


the  dispatch  could  not  be  communicated  to  them, 
and  if  it  had  been  laid  before  the  House,  the  offer 
would  have  been  at  once  refused.  Huskisson  suc- 
ceeded Goderich,  again  only  for  a  few  months 
from  the  middle  of  August  1827  till  the  end  of  May 
1828,  and,  while  he  was  Secretary  of  State,  he 
moved  in  the  House  of  Commons,  on  the  2nd  of 
May  1828,  that  a  select  committee  should  be 
appointed  to  inquire  into  the  state  of  the  Civil 
Government  of  Canada,  as  established  by  the 
Act  of  1791. 

When  the  Duke  of  Richmond  came  out  to  govern 
Canada  in  1818,  his  son-in-law,  Sir  Peregrine  Mait- 
land,  came  with  him  to  take  up  the  appointment 
of  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Upper  Canada.  Mait- 
land  had  served  with  much  distinction  in  the 
Peninsula,  and  had  commanded  the  First  Brigade 
of  Guards  at  Waterloo.  In  later  years  he  was 
Governor  of  the  Cape.  He  took  up  his  appoint- 
ment in  Upper  Canada  in  the  midst  of  an  agitation 
against  the  Government,  which  had  been  excited 
by  Robert  Gourlay,  a  well-meaning  but  crack- 
brained  Scotchman,  who  attributed  the  stagnation 
of  the  province  to  the  obstructive  character  of  the 
Government,  and  who  was  taken  too  seriously- 
being  tried  and  imprisoned  by  a  course  of  proce- 
dure which  was  harsh  and  impolitic  as  well  as  of 
doubtful  legality.  In  March  1822  Sir  John  Sher- 
brooke,  now  living  in  retirement,  who  had  been 
consulted  by  Lord  Bathurst  as  to  the  advisability 
of  reuniting  the  two  provinces,  wrote  that  '  I  could 
not  avoid  remarking  when  I  was  in  Upper  Canada, 
that  in  many  instances  a  stronger  bias  prevailed  in 


favour  of  the  American  than  of  the  British  form 
of  government.' l  Already,  before  Maitland's  arrival, 
there  had  been  in  Upper  Canada  friction  between 
the  two  Houses,  and  a  protest  had  been  made 
by  the  elected  Assembly  against  the  Executive 
Council  being  composed  of  men  who  were  members 
of  the  Upper  House.  Maitland  introduced  into 
the  Upper  Province  a  similar  classification  of  the 
finances  to  that  which  was  made  in  Lower  Canada, 
marking  off  the  King's  revenues  from  those  which 
depended  on  the  votes  of  the  Assembly,  and  he 
took  his  advisers  from  a  circle  of  able  and  patriotic 
though  not  democratic  men,  such  as  Beverley 
Robinson  and  Dr.  Strachan,  who  were  subse- 
quently grouped  under  the  name  of  the  '  Family 
Compact '.  Thus  there  grew  up  year  by  year 
antagonism  between  a  more  or  less  despotic 
Government,  and  the  general  community,  the  most 
loyal  part  of  which,  the  United  Empire  Loyalists, 
had  yet  brought  into  their  new  homes  the  tradi- 
tions of  self-government,  while  the  least  loyal  were 
leavened  by  American  Republicanism.  It  is  true 
that  the  feeling  was  not  all  dangerous,  and  the 
administration  was  not  all  reactionary.  A  law 
passed  in  1820  for  '  increasing  the  representation 
of  the  Commons  of  this  province  in  the  House 
of  Assembly'  was  a  wise  and  liberal  measure  of 
electoral  reform,  and  the  resentment  of  the  people 
of  Upper  Canada  against  the  French  Canadian 
majority  in  the  Quebec  Assembly  for  crippling 
their  customs  revenue,  which  led  to  an  appeal  to 
the  Imperial  Government  and  to  the  passing  of 

See  Canadian  Constitutional  Development  (Egerton  and  Grant),  p.  125. 


the  Canada  Trade  Act,  diluted  to  some  extent 
their  discontent  with  their  own  administration. 
Yet  it  was  under  Maitland's  regime  that  the  men 
came  to  the  front  who  were  afterwards  prominent 
in  constitutional  agitation  or  in  open  rebellion, 
among  others  Marshall  Spring  Bidwell,  son  of  an 
American  immigrant,  Barnabas  Bidwell,  who  was 
elected  to  the  Assembly  in  1825,  and  subsequently 
became  Speaker,  Dr.  Rolph,  and  William  Lyon 
Mackenzie,  the  last  of  whom  started  in  1824  an 
anti-Government  paper,  the  Colonial  Advocate,  and 
in  after  years  played  much  the  same  part  in  Upper 
Canada  that  Papineau  played  in  the  Lower 
Province.  In  1828  Sir  Peregrine  Maitland  was 
succeeded  as  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Upper  Canada 
by  Sir  John  Colborne,  another  veteran  soldier  of 
the  Napoleonic  wars,  who  had  commanded  the 
far-famed  52nd  regiment  at  Waterloo. 

The  Select  Committee  of  the  House  of  Commons 
which,  at  Huskisson's  instance,  had  been  appointed 
to  inquire  into  the  state  of  the  Civil  Government 
of  Canada,  reported  in  July  1828.  By  this  time 
Huskisson  had  left  the  Duke  of  Wellington's 
administration,  and  his  place  as  Secretary  of  State 
for  War  and  the  Colonies  had  been  taken  by  Sir 
George  Murray.  The  report,  though  a  short  one, 
covered  much  ground,  and  was  not  wanting  in 
sympathy  with  the  complaints  which  had  come 
from  Canada.  On  the  vital  question  in  Lower 
Canada,  the  control  of  the  public  revenues,  its 
terms  were  as  follows  : 

'  Although,  from  the  opinion  given  by  the 
Law  Officers  of  the  Crown,  your  Committee  must 


conclude  that  the  legal  right  of  appropriating  the 
revenues  arising  from  the  Act  of  1774  is  vested  in 
the  Crown,  they  are  prepared  to  say  that  the  real 
interests  of  the  provinces  would  be  best  promoted 
by  placing  the  receipt  and  expenditure  of  the 
whole  public  revenue  under  the  superintendence 
and  control  of  the  House  of  Assembly.' 

The  Committee  advised  that  the  Governor,  the 
members  of  the  Executive  Council,  and  the  judges 
should  be  rendered 

'  independent  of  the  annual  votes  of  the  House  of 
Assembly  for  their  respective  salaries  .  .  .  and  if 
the  officers  above  enumerated  are  placed  on  the 
footing  recommended,  they  are  of  the  opinion 
that  all  the  revenues  of  the  province  (except  the 
territorial  and  hereditary  revenues)  should  be 
placed  under  the  control  and  direction  of  the 
Legislative  Assembly.' 

It  was  suggested  that  in  both  the  Canadas 
a  more  independent  character  should  be  given  to 
the  Upper  Houses,  the  Legislative  Councils,  and 
4  that  the  majority  of  their  members  should  not 
consist  of  persons  holding  offices  at  the  pleasure  of 
the  Crown',  but  the  Committee  were  not  prepared 
under  existing  circumstances  to  recommend  the 
union  of  the  two  provinces.  Various  other  subjects, 
including  land  tenure  in  Lower  Canada,  the  dis- 
posal of  the  estates  which  had  belonged  to  the 
Jesuits,  and  the  Clergy  reserves  in  Upper  Canada, 
were  dealt  with  in  the  report,  and  a  kind  of  post- 
script advised  '  strict  and  instant  inquiry '  into 
the  allegations  which  had  been  made  against  Lord 
Dalhousie's  administration,  and  which  had  been 
brought  up  at  a  late  stage  of  the  proceedings. 


The  Committee  had  only  sat  for  between  two  and 
three  months,  and  their  work  had  been  hurried. 
Their  reference  to  the  charges  against  Lord  Dal- 
housie  was  unfair  to  the  latter  in  creating  a  pre- 
sumption that  the  charges  were  true,  and  the 
recommendations  made  in  the  report  were,  in  the 
main,  too  general  to  give  much  guidance  towards 
a  detailed  and  practical  solution  of  the  difficulties. 
Meanwhile  Sir  James  Kempt,  reputed  to  have  been 
a  personal  friend  of  Huskisson's,  had  succeeded 
Lord  Dalhousie,  but  as  Administrator  only,  not 
as  Governor-General.  He  was  another  veteran 
soldier,  had  been  Quartermaster-General  of  the 
Forces  in  Canada  when  Sir  James  Craig  was 
Governor,  and  had  followed  Lord  Dalhousie  as 
Lieutenant-Governor  of  Nova  Scotia.  As  Adminis- 
trator of  Canada,  he  did  little  more  than  mark 
time  for  two  years,  when  in  October  1830  he  was 
succeeded  by  Lord  Aylmer.  Kempt's  opening 
speech  to  the  Legislature  had  been  prescribed  for 
him  by  Sir  George  Murray,  who  also  addressed  to 
him  a  dispatch  for  communication  to  the  Legis- 
lature dealing  with  some  of  the  matters  which  had 
come  under  the  purview  of  the  Select  Committee. 
The  Secretary  of  State  laid  down  that,  while  the 
Imperial  Statutes  on  the  subject  continued  in 
existence,  the  revenues  raised  under  their  pro- 
visions could  not  be  handed  over  to  the  control 
of  the  Provincial  Legislature,  but  that  after  the 
salaries  of  the  Governor  and  of  the  judges  had  been 
met  from  this  source,  the  balance  of  the  funds 
would  not  be  appropriated  until  the  Assembly  had 
had  an  opportunity  of  advising  as  to  the  best 


method  in  which  it  could  be  applied  to  the  public 
service.  The  dispatch  went  on  to  say  that  a  scheme 
was  in  contemplation  *  for  the  permanent  settle- 
ment of  the  financial  concerns  of  Lower  Canada  '. 
This  scheme  was  embodied  in  a  Bill  introduced 
into  the  House  of  Commons  in  1829  by  Sir  George 
Murray,  but  not  passed  into  law,  whereby  it  was 
intended  to  hand  over  to  the  Canadian  Assemblies 
the  proceeds  arising  from  the  Imperial  Act  of  1774 
in  return  for  a  Civil  List.  Murray's  dispatch  pro- 
duced no  effect,  and  the  Quebec  Assembly  still 
arrogated  control  of  the  whole  public  revenues. 
The  session  of  1828-9  in  Lower  Canada,  however, 
resulted  in  one  important  new  electoral  law,  where- 
by the  Eastern  Townships  were  given  eight  repre- 
sentatives in  the  Assembly ;  and  in  1830  another 
grievance  of  the  Townships  was  temporarily  reme- 
died by  the  establishment  in  these  districts  of 
Land  Registry  Offices. 

Lord  Aylmer,  a  soldier  like  his  predecessors  in 
the  Government  of  Canada,  held  office,  for  a  few 
months  as  Administrator  and  subsequently  as 
Governor-General,  from  October  1830  to  August 
1835.  Meanwhile  the  Reform  Ministry  came  into 
power  in  England,  and  Lord  Goderich,  afterwards 
Earl  of  Ripon,  went  to  the  Colonial  Office.  Both 
Secretary  of  State  and  Governor-General  were  bent 
on  a  policy  of  conciliation,  and  by  the  Secretary 
of  State's  instructions  Lord  Aylmer,  in  February 
1831,  offered  to  the  Assembly  to  hand  over  to 
their  control  all  the  Crown  revenues,  other  than  the 
casual  and  territorial  revenues,  in  return  for  a  Civil 
List  for  the  life  of  the  King.  The  amount  to  be 


handed  over  was  estimated  at  £38,000  per  annum, 
the  casual  and  territorial  revenues  at  over  £7,000 
per  annum,  and  the  cost  of  the  Civil  List  at  £19,500, 
which  included  the  salaries  of  the  Governor,  the 
Civil  Secretary,  the  judges,  and  the  law  officers. 
The  offer  fared  no  better  than  previous  offers  of 
the  kind ;  the  Assembly  persisted  in  their  opposi- 
tion and  in  their  claims  ;  they  refused  to  grant 
a  Civil  List,  and  embodied  a  statement  of  their 
grievances  in  a  petition  to  the  King.  The  Home 
Government  meanwhile  continued  its  efforts  at 
conciliation.  A  dispatch,  written  in  February  1831, 
while  Lord  Aylmer  was  sounding  the  Assembly, 
intimated  that  in  the  event  of  permanent  provision 
being  made  for  the  payment  of  the  judicial  salaries, 
the  judges  should  in  future  hold  office  during  good 
behaviour  and  not  at  the  Royal  pleasure,  thereby 
securing  their  independence  both  of  the  Royal 
authority  and  of  the  control  of  the  popular  branch 
of  the  Legislature.  The  dispatch  at  the  same  time 
laid  down  that  no  judge  would  in  future  be  nomi- 
nated as  a  member  either  of  the  Executive  or  of 
the  Legislative  Council,  with  the  single  exception 
of  the  Chief  Justice  of  Quebec,  who  would  remain 
a  member  of  the  Legislative  Council  of  the  Lower 
Province,  in  order  to  advise  on  permanent  legisla- 
tion, while  at  the  same  time  abstaining  from  party 
politics.  In  a  later  dispatch,  dated  the  7th  of  July, 
Lord  Goderich  answered  in  detail  the  complaints 
which  had  been  embodied  in  the  petition  to  the 
King,  and  gave  every  indication  of  meeting  to  the 
utmost  within  reason  the  wishes  of  the  Assembly. 
Yet  another  dispatch,  written  in  November  of  the 


same  year,  dealt  with  the  disposal  of  Crown  lands, 
and  laid  down  that  for  free  grants  open  sale  in 
the  public  market  ought  to  be  substituted.  Nor 
did  the  Imperial  Government  content  itself  with 
friendly  dispatches  from  the  Secretary  of  State  and 
instructions  to  the  Governor  to  move  along  the 
path  of  constitutional  reform.  Before  the  session 
of  1831  ended  in  England,  a  law  was  passed  in 
September  whereby  the  revenues  which  the  Crown 
had  controlled  under  the  Quebec  Revenue  Act  of 
1774  were  handed  over  unconditionally  to  the 
Legislatures  of  the  two  Canadian  Provinces.  These 
were  revenues  which  had  hitherto  been  offered  in 
return  for  a  Civil  List,  and  they  were  now  ceded 
in  the  hope  that  the  Legislatures  would  repay  con- 
fidence with  confidence,  and  having  freely  received 
would  freely  give.  In  the  case  of  Upper  Canada 
the  confidence  was  not  misplaced,  for  the  Legis- 
lature voted  a  Civil  List,  but  the  Quebec  Assembly 
took  what  was  given  and  made  no  return.  The 
act  was  a  grave  mistake.  It  deprived  the  Imperial 
Government  of  a  lever,  which  had  hitherto  been 
in  its  hands,  for  bringing  the  French  Canadian 
Assembly  at  Quebec  into  line  with  the  House  of 
Commons  in  England,  and  it  left  hardly  any  funds 
in  Canada  at  the  absolute  disposal  of  the  Crown 
other  than  the  casual  and  territorial  revenues. 
The  Duke  of  Wellington  protested  against  the  Bill 
in  the  House  of  Lords,  but  the  protest  was  unheeded, 
and,  armed  with  greater  powers,  the  Quebec 
Assembly  became  more  unmanageable  than  ever. 

The  Secretary  of  State  invited  from  that  Assem- 
bly, in  return  for  the  concessions  which  had  been 


made,  a  law  securing  the  independence  of  the 
judges  and  providing  permanently  for  their  salaries, 
and  also  a  small  Civil  List  to  cover  the  salaries  of 
the  Governor  and  four  of  the  principal  officers. 
In  the  session  of  the  Quebec  Legislature  of  1831-2 
a  Bill  was  passed  nominally  securing  the  inde- 
pendence of  the  judges,  but  leaving  their  salaries 
dependent  upon  annual  votes  and  claiming  the  right 
of  the  Assembly  to  control  the  casual  and  territorial 
revenues  ;  while  a  Civil  List  amounting  only  to 
£5,900  was  rejected.  The  Imperial  Government 
disallowed  the  Judicial  Bill,  and  intimated  that  110 
further  application  would  be  made  to  the  Assembly 
for  a  Civil  List,  but  that  the  Civil  List  charges 
(other  than  the  salaries  of  the  judges)  would  be 
met  from  the  funds  which  still  remained  at  the 
disposal  of  the  Crown.  Meanwhile  an  election  riot 
at  Montreal  in  1832,  which  resulted  in  two  or  three 
deaths  from  the  firing  of  the  soldiers,  embittered 
political  feeling ;  the  dismissal  from  office  of  the 
able  Attorney-General  Stuart,  who  had  been 
specially  obnoxious  to  and  virulently  assailed  by 
the  Assembly,  gave  to  that  body  an  added  sense 
of  power  and  increased  their  aggressiveness  ;  the 
incorporation  of  the  British  American  Land  Com- 
pany, which  was  formed  to  develop  the  lands  in 
the  Eastern  Townships,  and  which  came  into 
existence  about  the  year  1833,  was  resented  by  the 
French  Canadians  as  an  attempt  to  anglicize  the 
province  ;  and  year  by  year  added  to  the  intensity 
of  race  feeling  and  to  the  impossibility  of  com- 
promise 011  constitutional  lines. 

Early  in  1833  Lord  Goderich  was  succeeded  as 


Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies  by  Mr.  Stanley, 
afterwards  Earl  of  Derby.  In  June  1834  Stanley 
was  succeeded  by  Spring  Rice.  During  Sir  Robert 
Peel's  short  administration  in  1834-5  Lord  Aber- 
deen was  Secretary  of  State,  and  when  Lord 
Melbourne  returned  to  power  in  1835,  Lord  Glenelg 
went  to  the  Colonial  Office.  The  contumacy  of  the 
Quebec  Assembly  culminated  in  February  1834 
in  a  kind  of  Petition  of  Rights  embodied  in  ninety- 
two  resolutions,  which,  among  other  points,  de- 
manded an  elective  Legislative  Council,  held  up 
the  United  States  as  a  model  for  Canada,  and 
called  for  the  impeachment  of  the  Governor- 
General.  In  the  House  of  Commons  the  French 
Canadians  had  now  found  a  spokesman  violent 
enough  for  their  purpose  in  John  Arthur  Roebuck, 
member  for  Bath,  who  in  April  1834  moved  for 
the  appointment  of  a  Committee  '  to  inquire  into 
the  means  of  remedying  the  evils  which  exist 
in  the  form  of  government  now  existing  in  Upper 
and  Lower  Canada  '.  Stanley  met  his  attack  by 
moving  for  a  Select  Committee  to  inquire  into  and 
report  how  far  the  recommendations  of  the  Com- 
mittee of  1828  had  been  carried  out,  and  to  inquire 
into  the  other  grievances  set  forward  by  the 
Assembly  of  Lower  Canada,  the  scope  of  the 
Committee  being  confined  to  the  Lower  Province. 
This  Committee,  which  included  all  the  members 
of  the  earlier  1828  Committee  who  still  had  seats 
in  the  House  of  Commons,  reported  at  the  beginning 
of  July,  but  its  report  was  confined  to  a  few  lines 
stating  that  the  Home  Government  had  shown  the 
greatest  anxiety  to  carry  out  the  recommendations 


made  by  the  Committee  of  1828,  that  the  efforts 
had  been  in  part  successful,  but  in  part  had  failed 
owing  to  the  differences  between  the  two  Houses 
of  the  Legislature,  and  between  the  Assembly 
and  the  Imperial  Government,  and  that  the  com- 
mittee thought  it  unadvisable  to  express  any 
opinion  on  the  points  at  issue,  or  to  lay  the  evidence 
which  they  had  taken  before  the  House,  being 
persuaded  '  that  the  practical  measures  for  the 
future  administration  of  Lower  Canada  may  best 
be  left  to  the  mature  consideration  of  the  Govern- 
ment responsible  for  their  adoption  and  execution '. 
This  report  left  matters  where  they  were  :  possibly 
the  members  of  the  Committee  were  unwilling  to 
exhibit  divergent  views,  or  they  were  minded  to 
keep  the  House  of  Commons  outside  the  contro- 
versy between  the  Imperial  Government  and  the 
Quebec  Assembly. 

In  Lower  Canada  matters  went  from  bad  to 
worse.  A  new  general  election,  held  in  the  autumn 
of  1834,  resulted  in  further  strengthening  Papi- 
neau's  following,  and  the  British  element  in  Lower 
Canada,  now  thoroughly  alarmed,  formed  consti- 
tutional associations  at  Quebec  and  Montreal.  The 
withholding  of  supplies  had  meant  withholding 
of  the  salaries  of  the  public  officials,  and  to  relieve 
the  position,  the  Secretary  of  State,  Spring  Rice, 
authorized  in  September  1834  an  advance  of 
£31,000  from  the  military  chest.  This  action  of  the 
Home  Government  was  made  a  fresh  grievance 
on  the  part  of  the  French  Canadian  majority,  when 
the  new  Parliament  met  in  1835,  for  they  regarded 
it,  to  quote  their  own  words,  as  'destroying  the 


wholesome  and  constitutional  influence  which  the 
people  ought  to  have  through  their  representatives 
over  every  branch  of  the  Executive  Government '. 
The  Legislature  met  on  the  21st  of  February  1835, 
and  was  prorogued  on  the  18th  of  March,  as  the 
Assembly  declined  to  transact  any  further  business. 
In  April,  Lord  Aylmer  published  a  dispatch  from 
Lord  Aberdeen  in  which  it  was  stated  that  the  Govern- 
ment— Sir  Robert  Peel's  Ministry — had  decided  to 
send  out  a  Royal  Commissioner  to  Lower  Canada. 
It  had  been  at  first  intended  to  send  Manners 
Sutton,  Viscount  Canterbury,  who  had  been  Speaker 
of  the  House  of  Commons,  and  when  he  declined, 
the  second  Lord  Amherst  was  offered  and  accepted 
the  appointment ;  but  the  change  of  Ministry,  which 
took  place  before  he  could  leave  England,  resulted 
in  different  arrangements  for  the  mission  and 
a  different  personnel.  It  is  not  quite  clear  what 
were  contemplated  by  Sir  Robert  Peel  and  Lord 
Aberdeen  to  have  been  the  relations  between  Lord 
Amherst,  had  he  gone  out,  and  Lord  Aylmer ;  but 
apparently  Lord  Amherst  was,  like  Lord  Durham 
at  a  later  date,  designated  both  as  High  Com- 
missioner for  the  special  purpose  of  investigating 
the  grievances  of  which  the  Quebec  Assembly  had 
so  abundantly  complained,  and  also  as  Governor, 
so  that  Lord  Aylmer  would  have  been  superseded 
for  the  time  being,  but  not  necessarily  recalled. 
When  Lord  Melbourne  returned  to  office  and  Lord 
Glenelg  became  Colonial  Secretary,  Lord  Aylmer 
was  told,  though  in  flattering  terms,  that  his  ad- 
ministration must  be  considered  to  be  terminated, 
and  it  was  decided  to  send  out  three  Royal  Com- 


missioners,  the  Chairman  of  the  Commission  being 
also  appointed  Governor-in-Chief  of  the  two 
Canadas  and  of  the  other  British  North  American 
provinces,  with  the  exception  of  Newfoundland. 
The  man  selected  for  the  post  was  an  Irish  peer, 
the  Earl  of  Gosford,  who  was  the  first  civilian 
Governor  of  Canada  since  it  became  a  British 
possession,  and  his  colleagues  as  Commissioners 
were  Sir  George  Gipps,  afterwards  Governor  of 
New  South  Wales,  and  Sir  Charles  Grey,  a  retired 
Indian  judge.  Gipps  was  an  exponent  of  Whig 
views,  as  they  were  then  understood.  Grey  was 
an  exponent  of  Tory  principles,  and  as  such  was 
credited  with  being  a  nominee  of  King  William 
the  Fourth.  The  Secretary  to  the  Commission  was 
T.  F.  Elliot,  a  member  of  the  Colonial  Office,  after- 
wards Assistant  Under-Secretary  of  State  for  the 
Colonies.  The  Commissioners  reached  Quebec 
on  the  23rd  of  August  1835,  and  on  the  17th  of 
September  Lord  Aylmer  left  for  England,  regarded 
by  the  British  population  of  Canada  as  sacrificed 
to  the  clamour  of  a  disloyal  majority. 

What  were  in  rough  outline  the  main  demands 
of  the  majority  at  this  date,  and  what  was  the 
tenor  of  Lord  Glenelg's  instructions  to  the  Com- 
missioners ?  The  Quebec  Assembly  had  many 
grievances  real  or  alleged,  but  the  points  on  which 
they  specially  laid  stress  were  the  following.  In 
the  first  place,  they  demanded  unconditional  con- 
trol of  all  the  public  revenues  of  every  kind.  In 
the  second  place,  they  demanded  an  elective  Legis- 
lative Council.  In  the  third  place,  they  attacked 
the  composition  of  the  Executive  Council.  In  the 

1352-1  F 


fourth  place,  they  complained  of  the  way  in  which 
the  patronage  of  the  Crown  had  been  exercised 
in  the  matter  of  appointments.  Fifthly,  they  de- 
manded the  repeal  of  the  Imperial  statutes  dealing 
with  the  tenure  of  land  in  Lower  Canada  ;  and 
sixthly,  in  connexion  with  the  disposal  of  waste 
lands,  they  demanded  that  the  charter  given  to 
the  British  American  Land  Company  should  be 
cancelled.  They  had  not  hitherto  in  so  many  words 
demanded  that  the  Executive  Council  should  be 
responsible  to  the  Legislature,  but  the  essence  of 
their  demands  was  to  obtain  full  control  of  all  the 
Executive  offices  by  securing  entire  command  of  all 
the  means  of  paying  them  ;  and  their  hostility  to 
the  British  American  Land  Company  was  dictated 
not  only  by  seeing  in  it  an  agency  for  increasing 
the  proportion  of  the  British  population  of  the 
province,  but  also  by  appreciating  that  the  pay- 
ments made  by  the  Company  to  the  Crown  added 
to  the  revenues  which  were  withheld  from  the 
elected  Assembly. 

Lord  Glenelg's  instructions  were  embodied  in 
terms  indicating  the  utmost  desire  of  the  Home 
Government  to  meet,  as  far  as  possible,  the  wishes 
of  the  Assembly  ;  but  he  laid  down,  as  necessary 
preliminaries  to  handing  over  all  the  remaining 
Crown  revenues  to  popular  control,  that  provision 
should  be  made  for  securing  the  independence  of 
the  judges,  that  an  adequate  Civil  List  should  be 
granted,  that  the  management  of  the  waste  lands 
of  the  province,  as  opposed  to  the  receipts  from 
those  lands,  should  remain  with  the  Crown,  and 
that  existing  pensions  of  retired  public  officers 


should  be  continued.  He  authorized  inquiry  into 
the  constitution  of  the  Legislative  Council,  but 
pointed  out,  without  in  so  many  words  vetoing 
the  proposal,  that  the  introduction  of  the  elective 
principle  in  connexion  with  that  Council  would  be 
a  constitutional  change  of  the  gravest  and  most 
vital  kind.  He  instructed  the  Commissioners  to 
consider  any  amendment  which  would  increase  the 
efficiency  of  the  Executive  Council ;  to  investigate 
the  tenures  of  land  in  the  province,  including  the 
seigniorial  rights  claimed  by  the  Sulpicians  in  and 
around  Montreal ;  and  to  advise  whether  or  not 
any  further  charters  should  be  granted  by  the 
Crown,  such  as  had  been  given  to  the  British 
American  Land  Company.  He  also  directed  atten- 
tion to  the  state  of  education  in  Lower  Canada, 
and  to  the  possibility  of  so  adjusting  the  financial 
relations  between  the  two  Canadian  provinces  as 
to  admit  of  the  repeal  of  the  Canada  Trade  Act. 

Cotemporaneously  with  the  instructions  to  the 
Commissioners,  Lord  Glenelg  addressed  a  dispatch 
to  Lord  Gosford,  not  as  Chief  Commissioner  but  as 
Governor,  in  which  he  dealt  with  such  complaints 
of  the  Assembly  as  needed  no  investigation,  but 
could  be  dealt  with  at  once  by  the  executive 
authority  of  the  Governor.  Prominent  among 
these  was  the  alleged  abuse  of  patronage,  as  to 
which  the  Secretary  of  State  reiterated  and 
enlarged  previous  instructions.  It  is  worth  while 
to  quote  Lord  Glenelg's  own  words  on  this  subject, 
as  the  allegation  that  French  Canadians  had  been 
unduly  excluded  '  not  only  from  the  larger  number, 
but  from  all  the  more  lucrative  and  honourable  of 


the  public  employments  in  their  native  country  ', 
was,  if  true,  the  moat  reasonable  and  substantial  of 
the  grievances.  Adopting  '  in  their  fullest  extent ' 
instructions,  which  he  said  had  been  given  by  Lord 
Goderich,  to  exercise  '  the  utmost  impartiality  in 
the  distribution  of  public  offices  in  Lower  Canada, 
without  reference  to  national  or  political  distinc- 
tions, or  to  any  consideration,  except  that  of 
superior  capacity  and  fitness  for  the  trust ',  Lord 
Glenelg  went  on,  somewhat  inconsistently,  to 
suggest  that  modified  preference  might  be  given 
to  French  Canadians. 

'  Your  Lordship  will  remember  that  between 
persons  of  equal  or  not  very  dissimilar  pretensions, 
it  may  be  fit  that  the  choice  should  be  made  in 
such  a  manner  as  in  some  degree  to  satisfy  the 
claims  which  the  French  inhabitants  may  reasonably 
urge  to  be  placed  in  the  enjoyment  of  an  equal 
share  of  the  Royal  favour.  There  are  occasions 
also  on  which  the  increased  satisfaction  of  the 
public  at  large  with  an  appointment,  might  amply 
atone  for  some  inferiority  in  the  qualifications  of 
the  persons  selected.' 1 

He  then  laid  down  that  the  patronage  of  the 
Governor  in  making  appointments  should  be  sub- 
ject to  the  approval  of  the  Secretary  of  State,  and 
that  the  general  rule  should  be,  as  it  had  been, 
to  appoint  residents  in  Lower  Canada.  In  other 
points  of  detail,  which  need  not  be  specified,  Lord 
Glenelg  enjoined  on  the  outgoing  Governor  con- 
sonance with  the  wishes  of  the  Assembly.  Assuredly, 
never  was  the  Home  Government  more  anxious  to 
work  in  harmony  with  public  feeling  in  a  colony 

1  See  House  of  Commons  Paper,  No.  113,  March  1836,  pp.  47-8. 


than  was  the  British  Government  in  its  relations 
to  Lower  Canada  in  the  year  1835. 

Lord  Gosford  called  the  Quebec  Legislature 
together  on  the  27th  of  October  1835.  In  his 
opening  speech  he  gave,  as  desired  by  Lord  Glenelg, 
the  substance  of  his  own  instructions  and  of  those 
to  the  Royal  Commissioners ;  and  intimating  that 
one  object  of  the  coming  inquiry  was  to  hand  over, 
on  such  conditions  as  should  be  carefully  matured, 
the  whole  of  the  revenues  of  Lower  Canada  to  the 
control  of  the  elected  representatives,  he  invited 
the  Assembly  to  make  good  the  arrears  of  salary 
due  to  the  public  officers  and  to  continue  to  provide 
for  their  pay  while  the  inquiry  was  taking  its  course. 
The  Session  dragged  on  until,  in  February  1836, 
the  Assembly  learnt  from  a  letter  written  to 
Papineau,  Speaker  of  the  Assembly  of  the  Lower 
Province,  by  Marshall  Bidwell,  Speaker  of  the 
Assembly  of  Upper  Canada,  that  Sir  Francis  Bond 
Head,  the  new  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Upper 
Canada,  had  communicated  to  the  Legislature  of 
that  Province  verbatim  extracts  of  the  Instruc- 
tions to  the  Commissioners.  These  were  alleged 
to  be  at  variance  with  the  substance  of  the  instruc- 
tions as  contained  in  Lord  Gosford' s  opening 
speech,  and,  following  Papineau' s  lead,  the  Assem- 
bly voted  supplies  for  six  months  only  and  drew 
up  a  fresh  address  of  grievances  to  the  King.  The 
Supply  Bill  was  thrown  out  by  the  Legislative 
Council  as  not  being  in  accordance  with  what  the 
Government  had  requested,  and  for  a  fourth  year 
in  succession  Lower  Canada  was  left  without  legal 
supplies  to  carry  on  the  public  service.  The 


Legislature  was  prorogued  on  the  21st  of  March 

Before  the  prorogation  took  place,  Papineau  had 
written  to  Bidwell  a  violent  letter,  attacking  the 
Home  Government,  and  inviting  the  co-operation 
of  the  Assembly  of  Upper  Canada  in  the  struggle 
in  which  Lower  Canada  was  engaged.  Meanwhile 
Lord  Gosford  and  the  other  two  Commissioners 
continued  an  inquiry  which  was  already  doomed 
to  failure.  They  were  not  at  one,  and  their  reports 
were  accompanied  by  qualifying  minutes  and 
counter  minutes  by  Sir  Charles  Grey  and  Sir  George 
Gipps.  The  first  report,  dated  the  30th  of  January 
1836,  dealt  with  the  proposed  Civil  List  and  the 
conditions  upon  which  the  Crown  revenues  should 
be  ceded  to  the  Assembly,  the  recommendations 
being  made  on  the  assumption  that  they  would 
not  be  carried  into  effect  until  the  Legislature  had 
made  good  the  outstanding  arrears  of  salary  to 
the  public  servants.  A  second  report,  dated  the 
12th  of  March,  dealt  with  the  position  which  had 
arisen  owing  to  the  Assembly  having  shelved  the 
question  of  these  arrears  until  their  demands 
should  have  been  complied  with,  and  noted  that 
those  demands  now  included  making  the  Executive 
Council  responsible  to  the  Legislature.  The  Com- 
missioners came  to  the  conclusion  that,  under  the 
circumstances,  the  best  course  to  adopt  was  to 
repeal  the  Imperial  Act  of  1831  by  which  the  taxes 
levied  under  the  Quebec  Revenue  Act  of  1774  had 
been  handed  over  to  the  Provincial  Legislature. 
A  third  report  at  the  beginning  of  May  dealt  with 
reform  of  the  Executive  Council,  again  negativing 


the  responsibility  of  that  Council  to  the  Legisla- 
ture. A  fourth  report  in  June  contradicted  state- 
ments made  with  regard  to  the  Commission  by 
Mr.  Roebuck  in  a  pamphlet  distributed  to  mem- 
bers of  the  House  of  Commons.  A  fifth  report  in 
October  dealt  with  the  seigniorial  rights  of  the 
Seminary  of  St.  Sulpice  at  Montreal ;  and  a 
sixth  report  in  November,  a  general  report,  dealt 
with  the  Legislative  Council,  tenures  of  land,  and 
other  matters  indicated  in  the  instructions.  Sir 
Charles  Grey  left  for  England  shortly  afterwards, 
Sir  George  Gipps  and  Mr.  Elliot  followed  in  the 
spring  of  1837,  and  Lord  Gosford  was  left  to  face 
alone  what  had  long  been  an  impossible  position. 

The  Commissioners,  in  recommending  the  repeal 
of  the  Act  of  1831,  and  the  resumption  by  the 
Imperial  Government  of  control  of  the  revenues 
which  had  been  handed  over  to  the  Assembly,  had 
not  taken  sufficient  account  of  the  effect  which 
such  a  strong  measure  might  have  produced  on 
public  opinion  in  the  other  British  North  American 
provinces.  There  was  discontent  in  Upper  Canada 
and  New  Brunswick,  and  there  was  danger  lest 
they  should  make  common  cause  with  Lower 
Canada.  This  danger  was  present  to  Lord  Glenelg 
and  his  colleagues.  Accordingly  they  rejected  the 
proposal,  and  in  a  dispatch  of  the  7th  of  June, 
which  answered  the  last  Address  from  the  Quebec 
Assembly  to  the  King,  Lord  Glenelg  directed 
Lord  Gosford  to  lay  the  whole  of  the  Instructions 
to  the  Commissioners  before  the  Assembly,  in  order 
to  clear  away  the  misapprehension  which  was 
supposed  to  have  arisen,  arid  again  to  invite  pay- 


inent  of  the  arrears  of  salaries  and  provision  of 
adequate  supplies.  Lord  Gosford  did  as  he  was 
instructed.  He  summoned  the  Legislature  on  the 
22nd  of  September  1836,  laid  before  them  copies 
of  the  Instructions,  and  communicated  Lord 
Glenelg's  dispatch  as  an  answer  to  the  address 
from  the  Assembly  to  the  King.  The  only  result 
was  that  the  Assembly  still  refused  to  comply  with 
the  Secretary  of  State's  wishes,  still  persisted  in 
their  demands,  especially  in  that  for  an  elected 
Legislative  Council,  that  they  referred  to  existing 
conditions  as  a  '  system  of  metropolitan  ascendancy 
and  colonial  degradation',  and  that  the  Legisla- 
ture was  prorogued  on  the  4th  of  October  without 
having  transacted  any  business  or  passed  any  laws. 
It  was  now  time  for  the  Imperial  Parliament 
to  interfere,  and  the  ministry  was  encouraged 
in  taking  action  by  the  fact  that  public  feeling  in 
Upper  Canada  and  in  New  Brunswick  had  under- 
gone a  change,  which  seemed  to  indicate  that 
the  attitude  of  the  Assembly  at  Quebec  would  no 
longer  find  much  support  in  those  provinces.  The 
Session  opened  in  England  on  the  31st  of  January 
1837 ;  the  King's  Speech  directed  the  special 
attention  of  Parliament  to  the  state  of  affairs  in 
Lower  Canada ;  the  Reports  of  the  Commissioners 
were  laid  before  both  Houses  ;  and  on  the  6th  of 
March  Lord  John  Russell  moved  ten  Resolutions 
in  the  House  of  Commons.  The  Resolutions  pro- 
vided for  making  good  the  outstanding  arrears  of 
pay,  by  empowering  the  Governor-General  to  apply 
to  that  purpose  the  revenues  in  the  hands  of  the 
Receiver-General  of  the  province  ;  they  negatived 


the  demand  for  an  elective  Legislative  Council, 
for  the  introduction  of  the  principle  of  responsi- 
bility to  the  Legislature  into  the  Executive  Council, 
and  for  the  cancellation  of  the  charter  of  the 
British  American  Land  Company  ;  they  promised 
repeal  of  the  tenures  Acts,  as  soon  as  a  law  adequate 
for  the  purpose  should  have  been  passed  by  the 
provincial  Legislature  ;  they  proposed  to  hand 
over  to  the  Legislature  the  net  proceeds  of  the 
remaining  Crown  revenues,  as  soon  as  a  Civil 
List  should  have  been  voted  covering  the  judicial 
expenditure  and  the  salaries  of  the  principal  civil 
officers  ;  and  they  authorized  the  Legislatures  of 
the  two  Canadian  provinces  to  make  provision 
for  adjusting  the  trade  disputes  between  the  two 
provinces.  The  Resolutions  did  not  pass  without 
debate.  In  addition  to  Roebuck,  various  members, 
such  as  Hume,  O'Connell,  and  Sir  William  Moles- 
worth,  keenly  opposed  the  Government ;  while  in 
Canada,  so  cool  and  experienced  a  judge  of  local  con- 
ditions as  Sir  John  Colborne,  who  was  at  the  time 
at  Quebec  in  command  of  the  troops,  wrote  of  the 
eighth  Resolution,  whereby  provincial  funds  were 
to  be  appropriated  to  the  payment  of  arrears :  '  The 
eighth  resolution,  of  seizing  money  which  does  not 
belong  to  us,  must  produce  further  coercion  on 
the  part  of  Ministers.'  x  By  the  middle  of  May, 
however,  all  the  Resolutions  had  been  carried 
through  both  Houses  of  Parliament,  and  steps  were 
taken  to  bring  in  a  Bill  to  give  to  them  the  force 
of  law. 

On  the  22nd  of  May  Lord  Glenelg  wrote  to  Lord 

1  Letter  dated  Quebec,  June  5, 1837  (Life  of  Lord  Seaton,  1903,  p.  277). 


Gosford,  directing  him  to  call  the  Legislature  to- 
gether again,  and  once  more  to  invite  the  Assembly 
to  make  good  the  arrears  and  to  vote  supplies, 
so  as  to  render  it  unnecessary  to  have  recourse 
to  the  powers  which  the  Imperial  Parliament  was 
about  to  embody  in  the  form  of  a  law. 

Shortly  afterwards  the  King  died,  and,  unwilling 
that  the  reign  of  Queen  Victoria  should  open  with 
a  measure  of  coercion,  the  Government,  at  the 
beginning  of  July,  obtained  a  vote  of  credit  to  meet 
the  immediate  requirements  of  the  administration 
in  Lower  Canada  and  remitted  legislation  to  a  new 
Parliament.  When  Lord  John  Russell's  Resolu- 
tions became  known  in  Lower  Canada,  they  caused 
much  excitement :  indignation  meetings  were  held 
by  the  partisans  of  the  Assembly,  Dr.  Wolfred 
Nelson,  who  lived  on  the  Richelieu  river,  taking 
a  prominent  part  in  the  agitation,  and  Papineau 
being  extolled  as  the  Canadian  counterpart  of 
O'Connell.  Lord  Gosford,  in  accordance  with  his 
instructions,  called  together  the  Quebec  Legislature 
on  the  18th  of  August,  but  the  Assembly  replied 
to  his  opening  speech  by  a  protest  against  the 
Royal  Commissioners  and  the  Home  Government, 
and  by  demanding  that  the  Resolutions  passed  -by 
the  two  Houses  of  Parliament  should  be  rescinded. 
The  Governor,  therefore,  on  the  26th  of  August, 
prorogued  the  Legislature,  and  with  the  proroga- 
tion, as  events  proved,  came  the  end  of  the 
Constitution  which  had  been  framed  for  Lower 
Canada  under  the  Act  of  1791. 

It  is  now  time  to  give  an  outline  of  what  had 
been  taking  place  in  the  other  provinces  of  British 


North  America.  Sir  John  Colborne  became  Lieu- 
tenant-Governor  of  Upper  Canada  in  November 
1828.  The  Report  of  the  Select  Committee  of  the 
House  of  Commons  upon  the  Civil  Government  of 
Canada,  which  had  been  made  in  the  previous 
July,  together  with  the  evidence  which  had  been 
taken  by  the  Committee,  pointed  to  the  conclusion 
that  the  two  main  grievances  in  this  province 
were  the  want  of  independence  in  the  Legislative 
Council,  which  was  little  more  than  a  mouthpiece 
of  the  Government,  or  rather  of  the  dominant 
bureaucracy,  and  the  favoured  position  given  to 
the  Church  of  England,  especially  in  the  matter 
of  the  Clergy  Reserves.  Colborne  was  a  man  of 
kindly  sympathies  and  no  narrow  views.  He  was 
keenly  interested  in  education,  and  was  the  founder 
of  the  Upper  Canada  College.  But  he  was  sur- 
rounded by  the  men  who  formed  the  so-called 
'  Family  Compact ',  and  whose  influence,  used 
against  the  more  democratic  section  of  the  com- 
munity, was  strong  because  it  was  largely  the 
outcome  of  real  ability  and  high  character.  Shortly 
before  his  arrival  a  general  election  had  taken  place, 
and  the  newly-elected  Assembly  contained  a  pro- 
gressive majority.  Marshall  Bidwell  was  the 
Speaker,  William  Lyon  Mackenzie  was  one  of  the 
members,  and  in  the  course  of  the  year  1829  Robert 
Baldwin  was  elected  to  fill  a  seat  which  had  been 
vacated  by  the  appointment  of  the  Attorney- 
General,  Beverley  Robinson,  to  be  Chief  Justice  of 
Upper  Canada,  Robinson's  successor,  as  Attorney- 
General,  Boulton  by  name,  was  a  man  of  far 
inferior  type ;  domineering  and  aggressive,  he 


provoked,  instead  of  conciliating,  opposition  to  the 
Government.  The  death  of  King  George  IV,  in 
June  1830,  necessitated  a  new  election,  and  this 
time  the  partisans  of  the  Government  secured 
a  substantial  majority  in  the  Assembly.  The 
Imperial  Act  of  1831,  which  handed  over  to  the 
Legislature  the  proceeds  of  the  taxes  levied  under 
the  Quebec  Revenue  Act  of  1774,  was  met  by  the 
grant  of  a  Civil  List  to  the  amount  of  £6,500  per 
annum,  and  thus  one  great  element  of  friction  with 
the  Imperial  Government  was  eliminated.  But 
the  Government  party  in  the  Assembly  had  a  most 
unwise  leader  in  Boulton,  and  on  the  other  side 
Mackenzie  made  himself  impossible.  The  violence 
with  which  the  latter  in  speech  and  writing 
attacked  his  political  opponents  was  met  by  pro- 
ceedings which  were  equally  indefensible.  He  was 
repeatedly  expelled  from  the  Assembly,  and  re- 
peatedly re-elected.  He  carried  his  grievances  to 
England  and  found  a  champion  in  Joseph  Hume, 
while  the  obvious  unfairness  and  unwisdom  of  the 
treatment  to  which  he  had  been  subjected  led 
to  his  chief  opponent,  Boulton,  being  dismissed 
from  the  appointment  of  Attorney-General  by  the 
Secretary  of  State. 

In  1834  the  town  of  York  was  incorporated  as 
the  city  of  Toronto,  and  Mackenzie  became  the 
first  mayor.  Towards  the  end  of  the  year  there 
was  a  general  election  for  the  provincial  Parlia- 
ment, and  the  Reform  party  once  more  gained 
the  upper  hand  in  the  Assembly.  Mackenzie  had 
somewhat  lost  in  popular  estimation  by  publishing 
a  letter  from  Joseph  Hume,  in  which  the  latter  had 


expressed  himself  to  the  effect  that  a  crisis  was 
coming  in  Canada  '  which  will  terminate  in  inde- 
pendence and  freedom  from  the  baneful  domination 
of  the  mother  country ',  and  he  gravitated  away 
from  the  more  moderate  reformers  and  towards 
making  common  cause  with  Papineau  in  the  Lower 
Province.  Still  he  was  the  mouthpiece  of  the 
Reform  party  in  the  new  Parliament  of  Upper 
Canada,  and  it  was  upon  his  motion  that  a  select 
committee  on  grievances  was  appointed,  of  which 
he  was  chairman,  and  '  by  which  ',  to  quote  Lord 
Glenelg's  words,  '  a  report  was  made  impugning 
the  administration  of  affairs  in  every  department 
of  the  public  service,  and  calling  for  remedial 
measures  of  such  magnitude  and  variety  as  appa- 
rently to  embrace  every  conceivable  topic  of  com- 
plaint.' x  This  Report,  made  in  April  1835,  and 
widely  distributed  in  England,  specified  the  almost 
unlimited  patronage  of  the  Crown  and  the  abuse 
of  that  patronage  as  the  chief  sources  of  colonial 
discontent,  and  it  demanded  responsible  govern- 
ment and  an  elected  Legislative-  Council.  Lord 
Glenelg  dealt  with  it  at  length  in  December  1835 
in  his  instructions  to  Colborne's  successor,  Sir 
Francis  Bond  Head ;  and  in  the  dispatch  which 
embodied  these  instructions,  he  enclosed  extracts 
from  his  previous  instructions  to  Lord  Gosford  and 
his  colleagues,  the  publication  of  which  by  Sir 
Francis  Head  caused,  as  already  told,  a  ferment 
in  the  Quebec  Assembly. 

When  the  grievances  report  was  made  public, 

1  See  Lord  Glenelg's  Instructions  to  Sir  F.  Bond  Head,  December  5, 
1835,  House  of  Commons  Paper,  No.  113,  March  1836,  p.  55. 


Colborne  had  been  for  more  than  six  years  Lieu- 
tenant-Governor  of  Upper  Canada.  To  the  Whig 
Government  in  England,  anxious  to  conciliate 
public  feeling  in  the  Canadas,  it  seemed  advisable 
to  make  a  change,  and  Colborne  himself  realized 
that  he  was  out  of  harmony  with  his  employers. 
While  Lord  Glenelg  wrote  to  recall  him,  he  in  turn 
wrote  resigning  his  appointment,  and  in  the  middle 
of  winter,  on  the  23rd  of  January  1836,  a  week  after 
the  Parliamentary  Session  in  Upper  Canada  had 
been  opened,  his  successor,  Sir  Francis  Bond  Head, 
arrived  at  Toronto,  no  intimation  of  his  coming 
having  been  received  in  Upper  Canada  until  he  had 
already  reached  New  York.  Head  was  sworn  in 
on  the  25th  of  January,  and  on  the  following  day 
Colborne  left  for  Montreal  on  his  way  to  England. 
He  stayed  at  Montreal  till  the  middle  of  May,  then 
went  to  New  York  to  embark  for  home,  and  while  at 
New  York  was  offered  by  Lord  Glenelg  the  appoint- 
ment of  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Forces  in  both 
Canadas.  He  accepted  it  and  went  back  to  Montreal. 
One  of  Colborne's  last  acts,  as  Lieutenant- 
Governor  of  Upper  Canada,  was  to  call  into  opera- 
tion the  sections  of  the  Constitutional  Act  of  1791, 
which  authorized  the  Governor  or  Lieutenant- 
Governor  in  either  of  the  Canadas,  with  the  advice 
of  the  Executive  Council,  to  constitute  and  endow 
Church  of  England  rectories.  He  signed  docu- 
ments which  endowed  with  lands  forty-four  rec- 
tories, and  in  doing  so  he  stirred  up  the  dangerous 
Clergy  Reserves  question,  aroused  the  wrath  of  the 
Scotch  Church,  the  Wesleyans,  and  others,  and 
was  accused  of  hurriedly  perpetrating  a  job  for 


the  Church  of  England  before  he  was  superseded, 
though,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  he  was  only  taking  the 
last  step  in  carrying  out  views  which  had  been 
expressed  by  Lord  Goderich  when  Secretary  of 
State  in  1832.     He  gave  offence,  too,  in  Lower 
Canada  by  a  reference  to  the  dissensions  in  that 
province  which  he  made  when  opening  the  Parlia- 
mentary Session  at  Toronto  on  the  14th  of  January 
1836,  just  before  Head's  arrival.    It  seemed,  there- 
fore,   as  though   an  estimable  but  somewhat  re- 
actionary Governor  was  being  replaced  by  a  man  of 
broader  outlook  and  more  enlightened  views.    The 
sequel   was  to   prove   that   the    new-comer    was 
dangerous  and  flighty  in  the  extreme,  and  that 
when  a  crisis  came  Colborne  was  the  man  to  meet  it. 
Sir  Francis  Bond  Head  had  been  a  soldier,  a 
traveller,  a  writer,  and  a  Poor  Law  Commissioner, 
before  he  was  appointed  Lieutenant-Governor  of 
Upper  Canada,  but  he  had  had  no  previous  ex- 
perience of  colonial  administration.    His  two  years' 
career  as  Lieutenant-Governor  was  that  of  a  self- 
willed  though  well-meaning  eccentric,  not  amenable 
either  to  an  Assembly  or  to  a  Secretary  of  State. 
He  began  by  publishing  his  instructions  in  extenso, 
instead  of  communicating  their  substance  to  the 
House  of  Assembly.    In  order  to  bring  new  blood 
into  the   Executive  Council,  he  induced   Robert 
Baldwin  and  Rolph,  leaders  of  Reform,  to  take 
seats  upon  it,  together  with  the  Receiver-General 
of  the  province ;   but  Baldwin's  views  of  what  an 
Executive  Councillor  should  be  did  not  square 
with  those  of  the  Lieutenant-Governor,  who  had  no 
intention  of  giving  to  the  Council  any  real  power 


or  responsibility,  and  the  result  was  that  in  three 
weeks'  time  the  whole  Council  resigned.  Head 
then  procured  a  new  Council,  came  into  collision 
with  the  Assembly,  dissolved  the  Legislature,  and, 
managing  to  present  the  issue  to  the  people  as 
being  in  effect  whether  or  not  Upper  Canada  should 
remain  a  loyal  province  of  the  British  Crown,  he 
secured  at  the  general  election  of  June  1836  an 
overwhelming  majority  of  supporters  in  the  New 
Assembly.  Bidwell,  Mackenzie,  Lount,  among 
others,  lost  their  seats,  and,  resenting  the  Govern- 
ment influence  which  had  been  used  against  them, 
the  more  violent  members  of  the  Reform  party 
turned  their  minds  towards  revolution.  The  new 
Parliament  met  in  November  1836,  and  sat  till 
the  following  March,  passing  among  many  other 
measures  a  much  criticized  law  that  the  Legislature 
should  not  be  dissolved  upon  the  sovereign's  death, 
which  was,  in  other  words,  an  Act  for  prolonging 
its  own  existence.  It  met  again  in  June  1837  for 
a  short  and  special  session,  to  deal  with  a  financial 
crisis  caused  by  commercial  depression  in  the 
United  States  ;  and  the  next  session,  the  last  which 
Sir  Francis  Head  opened,  began  at  the  end  of 
December  1837,  after  the  close  of  the  abortive 
rising  in  Upper  Canada,  and  lasted  till  the  6th  of 
March  1838.  In  1836  Head  had  dismissed  from 
office  a  district  judge  of  the  name  of  Ridout,  on 
the  alleged  ground  that  he  had  been  an  opponent 
and  critic  of  the  Government.  In  the  following 
year  he  passed  over  Bidwell  for  a  judgeship  in  the 
Court  of  Queen's  Bench.  Lord  Glenelg,  on  learning 
Ridout's  side  of  the  case,  directed  that  he  should 


be  reinstated  ;  and  he  also  gave  instructions  that 
Bid  well  should  be  offered  the  next  vacant  judge- 
ship.  Head  point  blank  refused  either  to  reinstate 
Ridout  or  to  offer  a  judgeship  to  Bidwell,  and 
in  September  1837  tendered  his  own  resignation. 
Lord  Glenelg  accepted  the  resignation  in  a  dispatch 
written  towards  the  end  of  November  and  received 
in  January  1838,  Mackenzie's  rising  having  taken 
place  in  the  meantime  ;  on  the  23rd  of  March  the 
new  Lieutenant-Governor,  Sir  George  Arthur, 
arrived  at  Toronto ;  and  Head  returned  to  England 
to  continue  unavailing  protests  against  men  and 
events,  obstinate  and  wrongheaded,  but  none  the 
less  the  spokesman  in  exaggerated  fashion  of  the 
sentiments  held  by  the  Conservative  section  of 
the  community  of  Upper  Canada. 

The  causes  which  produced  friction  and  led  to 
constitutional  changes  in  Lower  and  Upper  Canada, 
were  at  work  also  in  the  Maritime  Provinces.  Nova 
Scotia  was  the  first  of  the  present  Canadian  pro- 
vinces to  be  given  representative  institutions,  for  its 
House  of  Assembly  dates  from  1758,  and  in  later 
days  perhaps  the  most  cogent  of  all  the  Canadian 
advocates  of  responsible  government  was  the  Nova 
Scotian,  Joseph  Howe,  who  first  entered  the  House 
of  Assembly  in  that  Province  in  1836.  Both  in 
Nova  Scotia  and  in  New  Brunswick,  which,  as  the 
result  of  Loyalist  immigration  from  the  United 
States,  had  been  created  a  separate  province  in  1784, 
the  same  persons  constituted  both  the  Executive 
Council  and  the  Upper  House  of  the  Legislature, 
viz.  the  Legislative  Council.  At  the  end  of  1830, 
Lord  Goderich,  then  Secretary  of  State  for  the 

1352-1  O 


Colonies,  who  was  dealing  with  the  Report  on  the 
Government  of  Canada  made  by  the  House  of 
Commons  Committee  of  1828,  wrote  to  the  Lieu- 
tenant-Governors of  Nova  Scotia  and  New  Bruns- 
wick, suggesting  the  desirability  of  giving  a  more 
independent  character  to  the  Councils  by  intro- 
ducing a  larger  number  of  unofficial  members  and 
excluding  the  puisne  judges  ;  and  in  May  1832  he 
wrote  to  Sir  Archibald  Campbell,  Lieutenant- 
Governor  of  New  Brunswick,  proposing  that  the 
Executive  and  Legislative  Councils  should  no 
longer  consist  of  the  same  members  ;  that  the 
Executive  Council  should  be  small  in  number, 
*  including  one  or  two  influential  members  of  each 
branch  of  the  Legislature  ;  '  *  that  the  number  of 
the  Legislative  Council  should  be  increased,  and 
that  its  members  should  cease  to  be  necessarily 
members  of  the  Executive  or  Privy  Council. 

Sir  Archibald  Campbell  agreed  that  '  the  incon- 
sistency of  the  same  members  forming  the  Privy 
and  Legislative  Councils  as  a  body,  is  an  anomaly 
that  never  ought  to  have  existed,  and  the  sooner 
that  it  is  abolished  the  better '.  Accordingly,  by 
Royal  Commission  to  the  Governor-General  dated 
the  20th  of  November  1832,  New  Brunswick  was 
endowed  with  two  distinct  and  separate  Councils, 
one  Executive  and  one  Legislative.  Between  three 
and  four  years  later,  in  1836,  two  delegates  from 
the  New  Brunswick  House  of  Assembly  came  to 
London  to  support  an  Address  to  the  King  from 
that  body,  one  of  them  being  the  reform  leader, 

1  See  the  House  of  Commons  Paper,  Nova  Scotia,  &c.,  No.  579, 
August,  1839,  pp.  49-50. 


Lemuel  Wilmot.  New  Brunswick  asked  for  no 
more  than  Lord  Glenelg  had  already  embodied  in 
his  instructions  to  Lord  Gosford  and  Sir  Francis 
Head ;  there  was  no  demand  for  an  Executive 
Council  responsible  to  the  people,  nor  for  an  elected 
Legislative  Council,  though  improvements  were 
suggested  in  the  composition  of  either  Council. 
The  control  of  all  the  Crown  revenues  in  return 
for  a  Civil  List,  and  different  management  of  the 
Crown  lands,  were  asked  for  and  readily  conceded  ; 
the  terms  of  a  Civil  List  Bill  to  be  passed  by  the 
provincial  Legislature  were  amicably  settled  ;  and 
the  delegates  went  back,  gratefully  acknowledging 
the  liberal  and  enlightened  policy  of  the  Imperial 
Government  and  the  personal  attention  which  Lord 
Glenelg  had  given  to  their  representations.  There 
was  a  slight  hitch  later  on,  because  the  new  policy 
was  distasteful  to  Sir  Archibald  Campbell,  and 
either  on  principle  or  through  misunderstanding 
he  resigned  in  1837,  instead  of  passing  the  Civil 
List  Bill ;  but  his  successor,  Sir  John  Harvey,  as 
tactful  a  Governor  as  he  had  shown  himself  to  be 
a  good  fighter  in  the  war  of  1812,  speedily  carried 
into  effect  the  reforms  which  had  been  contem- 
plated, and  paved  the  way  for  responsible  govern- 
ment, which  came  into  being  about  ten  years  later. 
Nova  Scotia  was  more  conservative  than  New 
Brunswick.  It  was  closely  in  touch  with  England, 
the  port  of  Halifax  being  open  all  the  year  round ; 
and  soldiers  and  sailors,  active  or  retired,  formed 
a  strong  element  in  the  community.  Accordingly, 
while  in  New  Brunswick  the  Executive  was,  in  1832, 
separated  from  the  Legislative  Council,  the  two 

G  2 


continued  in  Nova  Scotia  to  be  identical  down  to 
the  year  1837.  In  that  year  the  Assembly  for- 
warded an  Address  to  the  King,  claiming  control 
of  the  casual  and  territorial  revenues,  and  asking 
His  Majesty  'to  grant  us  an  elective  Legislative 
Council ;  or  to  separate  the  Executive  from  the 
Legislative  Council,  providing  for  a  just  repre- 
sentation of  all  the  great  interests  of  the  province 
in  both  ;  and  by  the  introduction  into  the  former 
of  some  members  of  the  popular  branch,  and 
otherwise  securing  responsibility  to  the  Commons, 
confer  upon  the  people  of  this  province  what  they 
value  above  all  other  possessions,  the  blessings  of  the 
British  Constitution  \l  Lord  Glenelg  made  similar 
concessions  in  the  case  of  the  constitution  of  Nova 
Scotia,  as  had  been  made  in  regard  to  the  other 
North  American  provinces,  but  it  is  noteworthy 
that  he  expressed  great  doubt  as  to  the  advisability 
of  separating  the  Executive  from  the  Legislative 
Council.  '  The  separation  of  this  body  into  two 
distinct  chambers,'  he  wrote  in  April  1837,  *  the  one 
Legislative  and  the  other  Executive,  is  an  experi- 
ment which  was  first  tried  in  the  Canadas  by  the 
Act  of  1791,  and  repeated  in  New  Brunswick  in  the 
year  1832.  So  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  judge,  the 
result  of  this  innovation  has  not  been  such  as  to 
exclude  very  serious  doubts  respecting  its  real 
usefulness.' 2  In  reference  to  the  suggestion  that 
the  Executive  officers  should  be  under  popular 
control,  he  wrote  that  '  Her  Majesty's  Govern- 

1  House  of  Commons  Paper,  as  above,  p.  17. 

8  Ibid.,  pp.  11,  12.     The  third  quotation,  from  a  dispatch  of  July  G> 
1837,  is  not  included  in  the  extracts  given  in  this  Blue  Book. 


ment  must  oppose  a  respectful  but,  at  the  same 
time,  a  firm  declaration  that  it  is  inconsistent  with 
a  due  advertence  to  the  essential  distinctions 
between  a  metropolitan  and  a  colonial  Government, 
and  is  therefore  inadmissible.' 

The  separation  of  the  Executive  from  the  Legis- 
lative Council  was  formally  completed  by  means  of 
the  Commission  which  appointed  Lord  Durham  to 
be  Governor  of  Nova  Scotia,  and  which  was  dated 
the  6th  of  February  1838 ;  and  in  his  Report  Lord 
Durham  described  the  political  condition  of  Nova 
Scotia  as  one  in  which,  though  there  were  various 
questions  at  issue,  there  was  no  strong  antagonism 
between  the  Government  and  the  people.  Nova 
Scotia  had,  as  a  rule,  been  fortunate  in  her  Lieu- 
tenant-Governors.  More  than  one  had,  like  Lord 
Dalhousie,  gone  on  to  be  Governor-General  of 
Canada.  Sir  Peregrine  Maitland,  who  had  been 
transferred  from  Upper  Canada  to  Nova  Scotia  in 
1828,  had  been  mainly  an  absentee;  but  his  suc- 
cessor in  1834,  Sir  Colin  Campbell,  a  soldier  of  high 
repute,  at  the  time  when  Lord  Durham  wrote,  com- 
manded public  confidence  and  esteem,  though  a  little 
later  he  was  found  too  conservative  for  Joseph 
Howe  and  the  partisans  of  responsible  government. 

In  March  1834  the  House  of  Assembly  of  Prince 
Edward  Island  asked  that  that  colony  might  be 
placed  upon  an  equal  footing  with  the  sister 
province  of  New  Brunswick,  by  being  given  a  Legis- 
lative Council  distinct  from  the  Executive  Council, 
but  the  request  was  refused  by  the  Secretary  of 
State,  Spring  Rice.  In  May  1837  Lord  Glenelg 
invited  Sir  Charles  Fitzroy,  who  was  then  going 


out  to  Prince  Edward  Island  as  Lieutenant- 
Governor,  to  look  into  the  composition  of  the 
Legislative  Council ;  and  in  March  1838  Fitzroy 
enclosed  an  Address  from  the  House  of  Assembly, 
again  asking  that  the  Executive  and  Legislative 
Councils  might  be  separated  from  each  other,  in 
accordance  with  the  change  which  had  taken  place 
in  Nova  Scotia.  Fitzroy  supported  the  proposal 
and  suggested  an  Executive  Council  of  nine  mem- 
bers, three  of  whom  should  be  selected  from  the 
House  of  Assembly.  Lord  Glenelg  then  sanctioned 
the  separation  of  the  Councils.  In  Prince  Edward 
Island,  however,  as  will  be  gathered  from  Lord 
Durham's  Report,  the  chief  causes  of  complaint 
were  connected  more  with  the  land  than  with  the 
constitution,  for  in  this  island  the  evils  arising 

!ut  of  absentee  ownership  were  most  acutely  felt. 
The  conditions  of  Newfoundland  had  always 
been  wholly  dissimilar  to  those  of  the  mainland 
provinces  of  British  North  America,  and  its  story 
had  run  in  a  different  channel,  but  in  Newfound- 
land, too,  constitutional  difficulties  had  arisen,  and 
accordingly  it  was  included  within  the  scope  of 
Lord  Durham's  Commission.  By  the  year  1832 
the  system  had  broken  down,  '  the  fundamental 
principle  of  which  was  to  prevent  the  Colonization 
of  the  island,  and  to  render  this  kingdom  the 
domicile  of  all  persons  engaged  in  the  Newfound- 
land fisheries  V  and  in  that  year  the  island  was 
given  a  representative  Assembly,  created  not  by 
Act  of  Parliament  but  by  the  King's  Commission 

1  Lord  Goderich  to  Governor  Sir  T.  Cochrane,  July  27,  1832  (House 
of  Commons  Paper,  as  above,  p.  82). 


to  the  Governor  and  by  the  Royal  Instructions. 
There  was  also  a  Council  which  was  in  effect,  though 
not  in  name,  at  once  a  Legislative  Council  and  an 
Executive  Council.  Foreseeing  the  likelihood  of 
friction  between  the  Council  and  the  Assembly, 
Lord  Goderich,  the  Secretary  of  State  who  called 
the  constitution  into  existence,  suggested  that  an 
arrangement  might  be  made  and  embodied  in 
a  local  Act,  '  which  should  consolidate  the  Council 
and  the  Assembly  into  a  single  House,  in  which  the 
representatives  of  the  people  would  be  met  by  the 
official  servants  of  the  Crown.'  *•  The  proposal  met 
with  general  disapprobation  in  the  colony,  and  was 
not  carried  into  effect ;  and  almost  immediately 
the  two  houses  came  to  loggerheads,  the  Council 
being  the  aggressor  by  throwing  out  a  revenue  Bill. 
This  was  in  the  first  session  of  the  new  Legislature  in 
the  spring  of  1833,  and  matters  were  not  improved 
when  later  in  the  same  year  Boulton,  who  had 
proved  so  cantankerous  as  Attorney-General  of 
Upper  Canada,  was  consoled  for  losing  that 
appointment  by  being  made  Chief  Justice  of  New- 
foundland. In  that  capacity  he  presided  over  the 
Council  and  arrogated  to  himself  the  title  of 
Speaker,  until  his  pretensions  and  those  which  he 
made  on  behalf  of  the  Council  were,  in  October 
1834,  somewhat  summarily  disallowed  by  Spring 
Rice,  then  Secretary  of  State.  The  disputes 
between  the  two  Houses  went  on.  In  1837  an 
Appropriation  Bill  was  thrown  out  by  the  Council, 
whose  action  was  in  February  1838  disapproved 
by  Lord  Glenelg.  Religious  animosity  had  been 

1  House  of  Commons  Paper,  as  above,  p.  85. 


added  to  the  political  squabble,  the  Irish  Roman 
Catholics  being  specially  bitter  against  Boulton, 
who  was  relieved  of  his  office  in  1838.  Matters 
came  to  such  a  pass  that,  under  an  Imperial  act 
of  1842,  the  existing  Legislature  was  ended,  and 
replaced  by  a  single  chamber,  as  had  been  suggested 
by  Lord  Goderich.  Another  Imperial  act  of  1847 
restored  the  old  constitution ;  and,  finally,  in  1855 
responsible  government  came  into  being. 

It  has  been  seen  that  the  Quebec  Legislature 
was  prorogued  by  Lord  Gosford  on  the  26th  of 
August  1837.  The  news  of  the  death  of  King 
William  IV  and  of  the  accession  of  Queen  Victoria 
had  reached  Canada  at  the  end  of  July,  but  had 
not  affected  the  political  situation  or  softened 
party  feeling.  Montreal  was  Papineau's  birthplace 
and  home,  and  he  was  one  of  the  parliamentary 
representatives  of  the  city.  Accordingly,  both  in 
1837  and  later,  in  1838,  disloyalty  was  more 
aggressive  and  more  pronounced  in  the  district  of 
Montreal  than  lower  down  the  river.  In  the  town 
itself  there  was  a  strong  element  of  loyal  citizens, 
but  on  the  other  side  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  in  the 
counties  along  the  line  of  the  Richelieu  river,  the 
proximity  of  the  American  frontier  gave  encourage- 
ment to  disaffection ;  and  behind  the  island  of 
Montreal,  in  the  county  of  the  Two  Mountains  on 
the  north  bank  of  the  Ottawa  river,  sedition  and 
lawlessness  were  rife. 

The  rising,  such  as  it  was,  was  mainly  a  French 
Canadian  movement,  though  it  was  a  nondescript 
kind  of  disturbance.  The  Roman  Catholic  Church, 
with  rare  exceptions,  exercised  its  authority  on 


the  side  of  law  and  order,  and  there  were  many 
French  Canadian  loyalists,  magistrates,  and  others; 
while  on  the  other  hand,  among  the  leaders  of  the 
so-called  'Patriots',  British  names  were  as  promi- 
nent as  French.  There  were  the  brothers  Nelson, 
for  instance,  and  Thomas  Storrow  Brown,  and  no 
paper  attacked  the  Government  with  greater 
violence  than  the  English  Vindicator,  edited  at 
Montreal  by  Dr.  O'Callaghan.  But,  naturally,  the 
followers  of  Papineau  were  in  the  main  French 
Canadians,  whereas  the  overwhelming  majority  of 
the  British,  including  the  Irish,  population  were 
staunch  and  determined  for  the  Government. 
The  would-be  rebellion  had  no  chance.  The  towns 
were  on  the  whole  not  revolutionary,  and  the 
seditious  districts  had  neighbours  to  hold  them  in 
check.  The  Glengarry  Highlanders,  in  Upper 
Canada,  but  on  the  border  line  of  the  two  provinces, 
Roman  Catholics  of  traditional  and  long-tried 
loyalty,  publicly  announced  their  intention  to 
uphold  the  Government,  and  the  English-speaking 
Eastern  Townships  were  strongly  opposed  to 
Papineau  and  his  friends.  Most  of  all,  though  the 
Governor-in-Chief  Lord  Gosf  ord  was,  it  would  seem, 
reputed  to  be  somewhat  weak  and  temporizing,  the 
man  in  whose  hands  was  the  ultimate  issue,  the  com- 
mander of  the  troops,  was  pre-eminently  cool  and 
strong.  Sir  John  Colborne  left  nothing  to  chance, 
he  prepared  for  the  crisis  and  practically  forestalled 
it.  In  the  latter  part  of  July  he  went  up  from 
Quebec  to  Sorel  at  the  mouth  of  the  Richelieu 
river,  to  be  near  the  probable  scene  of  disturbance  ; 
and  on  the  9th  of  November,  after  a  riot  had  taken 


place  in  Montreal,  he  moved  into  that  city.  Tn 
July,  at  Lord  Gosford's  instance,  a  regiment  was 
brought  up  from  Halifax  to  Quebec ;  and  at  the 
end  of  October,  with  the  cordial  consent  of  Sir 
Francis  Bond  Head,  the  24th  regiment  was  brought 
down  from  Toronto  to  Montreal,  where  it  arrived 
on  the  13th  of  November.  When  the  trouble 
came,  the  military  forces,  regulars  supplemented 
by  volunteers,  were  mainly  concentrated  at 
Montreal ;  but  preparations  had  also  been  made 
at  Quebec,  and  towards  the  end  of  the  year  more 
regiments  came  in  overland  from  Nova  Scotia 
and  New  Brunswick,  recalling  the  winter  marches 
of  the  war  of  1812. 

For  the  winter,  when  the  navigation  of  the 
St.  Lawrence  was  closed,  was  the  dangerous  time, 
and  as  the  winter  drew  on,  matters  came  to  some- 
thing like  a  climax.  Dr.  Wolfred  Nelson  was,  as 
not  a  few  men  have  been,  in  public  a  violent 
politician,  in  private  a  kindly  humane  man.  Ten 
years  previously,  at  a  general  election,  he  had 
opposed  and  defeated  James  Stuart,  then  Attorney- 
General,  for  the  borough  of  Sorel  or  William 
Henry,  his  brother  Robert  Nelson  being  at  the 
same  election  returned  as  Papineau's  colleague  for 
one  of  the  wards  of  Montreal.  He  lived  and  prac- 
tised his  profession  at  St.  Denis  on  the  Richelieu 
river,  and  on  the  23rd  of  October  1837  he  presided 
at  a  public  meeting  at  St.  Charles  near  to  his 
home,  on  which  occasion  Papineau  was  present, 
a  cap  of  liberty  was  hoisted,  and  the  representatives 
of  the  six  confederated  counties,  as  they  styled 
themselves,  being  the  counties  bordering  on  the 


Richelieu,  passed  a  series  of  lengthy  resolutions, 
the  most  practical  of  which  was  an  invitation  to 
the  soldiers  to  desert  their  colours  and  emigrate 
to  the  United  States.  One  of  the  resolutions 
expressed  approval  of  the  political  organization  in 
Montreal  entitled  the  '  Fils  de  Liberte ',  of  whom 
Christie  contemptuously  remarks  that  they  were 
'chiefly  idle  boys,  stripling  Attornies,  and  mer- 
chants' clerks  V  On  the  6th  of  November  the  Sons 
of  Liberty,  led  by  Storrow  Brown,  who  was  reputed 
to  have  been  of  American  birth  and  who  was  at 
the  time  a  dealer  in  hardware  at  Montreal,  came 
into  collision  with  the  members  of  a  loyalist 
association,  known  as  the  Doric  club.  In  the  end 
the  Sons  of  Liberty  fared  badly,  the  office  of  the 
Vindicator  was  gutted  and  sacked,  the  Riot  Act 
was  read,  and  troops  patrolled  the  streets.  After 
this  outbreak  Colborne  took  up  his  quarters  at 
Montreal.  By  this  time  a  kind  of  reign  of  terror 
had  come  into  being  in  the  district  of  Montreal 
outside  the  city  itself,  and  especially  in  the  counties 
on  the  southern  side  of  the  St.  Lawrence.  Magis- 
trates were  intimidated  and  called  upon  to 
resign,  and  the  lives  and  property  of  the  loyalists 
were  no  longer  safe.  In  consequence,  on  the  16th 
of  November,  warrants  were  issued  for  the  arrest 
of  the  leaders  of  sedition,  including  Papineau  him- 
self, who,  however,  fled  fom  Montreal  and  joined 
Dr.  Wolfred  Nelson  at  St.  Denis.  A  small  party 
of  soldiers  was,  on  the  evening  of  the  16th,  sent  to 
St.  John's  on  the  Richelieu,  to  arrest  two  French 
Canadians  named  Demaray  and  Davignon.  The 

1  Christie,  vol.  iv,  p.  395. 


arrest  was  effected,  but  as  the  prisoners  were  being 
taken  to  Montreal,  their  guard  was  fired  upon, 
and  they  were  rescued.  Colborne  immediately 
sent  more  troops  into  the  district.  One  body, 
under  Colonel  Wetherall,  went  straight  across  the 
river  to  the  fort  at  Chambly ;  a  second  body,  under 
Colonel  Gore,  was  taken  down  the  St.  Lawrence, 
and  landed  at  Sorel  at  the  mouth  of  the  Richelieu. 
Gore  was  to  march  up  the  Richelieu,  and  Wetherall 
down  it,  so  as  to  disperse  armed  insurgents  who 
were  understood  to  have  gathered  at  St.  Denis 
under  Dr.  Wolfred  Nelson  and  at  St.  Charles  under 
Storrow  Brown,  St.  Denis  being  about  eighteen 
miles  up  the  Richelieu  from  Sorel,  and  St.  Charles 
six  or  seven  miles  further  up  the  river.  Gore  started 
from  Sorel  with  some  250  men  on  the  night  of 
the  22nd  of  November,  and  marching  all  night 
through  sleet  and  rain  did  not  reach  St.  Denis  till 
nearly  10  o'clock  on  the  following  morning.  Here 
he  found  Dr.  Nelson  and  his  followers  prepared 
for  defence,  having  converted  a  large  stone  house 
into  a  fort.  He  attacked  with  his  tired  troops,  but 
was  not  strong  enough  to  carry  the  position ;  and 
after  some  hours'  fighting  he  was  obliged  to  retreat, 
with  the  loss  of  six  men  killed  and  ten  wounded 
and  of  the  one  field  piece  which  he  had  taken 
with  him.  He  did  not  reach  Sorel  again  till  the 
afternoon  of  the  24th.  Wetherall,  with  a  rather 
larger  force  than  Gore's,  left  Chambly  at  precisely 
the  same  time  to  march  on  St.  Charles  and  eventu- 
ally join  Gore.  In  the  same  bad  weather  he 
marched  through  the  night  of  the  22nd  and  the 
forenoon  of  the  23rd,  and  eventually,  being  brought 


to  a  stand  by  a  broken  bridge  some  few  miles 
short  of  St.  Charles,  he  encamped  for  the  night, 
rested  his  troops,  received  reinforcements  on  the 
following  day,  the  24th,  and  did  not  move  until 
the  25th.  Some  entrenchments  had  been  thrown 
up  at  St.  Charles,  and  they  were  defended  by 
a  considerable  number  of  insurgents,  of  whom 
Storrow  Brown  had  taken  command.  Wetherall 
summoned  the  people  to  disperse,  and  when  they 
resisted  he  carried  the  position,  after  about  an 
hour's  fighting,  not  without  loss,  and  effectually 
broke  up  all  resistance,  returning  to  Montreal 
on  the  29th  of  November.  This  was  practically 
the  end  of  the  rising  in  the  Richelieu  counties, 
although  towards  the  end  of  the  first  week  of 
December  there  was  a  brush  near  the  American 
frontier,  in  which  loyalist  volunteers  intercepted 
and  dispersed  a  band  of  rebels  who  had  taken 
refuge  in  and  crossed  over  from  Vermont.  At  the 
beginning  of  December  Gore  was  sent  again  to 
Sorel  and  up  the  river  to  St.  Denis  and  St.  Charles. 
He  met  with  no  resistance,  he  recovered  his 
wounded  and  his  gun,  and  his  troops  burnt  some 
houses  at  St.  Denis.  Dr.  Wolfred  Nelson  had  at  once 
shown  more  courage  and  been  more  unfortunate 
than  his  fellows.  When  he  heard  of  Wetherall's 
success  at  St.  Charles,  he  attempted  to  escape  across 
the  frontier  into  the  United  States;  but  after 
much  suffering  from  cold  and  privation  in  the 
woodlands  of  the  loyalist  Eastern  Townships,  he 
was  taken  prisoner  on  the  12th  of  December  and 
sent  in  to  Montreal,  his  kindly  care  of  the  wounded 
being  remembered  in  his  own  misfortunes.  A 


reward  had  been  offered  for  his  capture,  and  a  still 
larger  reward  was  offered  for  the  capture  of 
Papineau,  but  the  latter  made  good  his  escape. 
He  left  Dr.  Nelson's  house  at  St.  Denis  on  the 
morning  of  the  day  when  Gore  attacked  it,  and 
with  O'Callaghan  found  his  way  to  the  United 
States,  leaving  to  after  years  a  controversy  as  to 
the  motives  for  his  flight  at  the  moment  of  danger. 
Storrow  Brown  also  reached  American  soil,  and 
he,  too,  was  criticized,  though  apparently  without 
good  reason,  for  not  having  been  on  the  spot  at 
St.  Charles  when  the  actual  fighting  took  place. 

After  an  interval  of  years  insurgents  became 
good  citizens  again,  and  memories  were  softened, 
but  there  were  two  bad  murders  in  this  rising  in 
the  Richelieu  district  which  could  not  be  smoothed 
over  or  forgotten.  A  young  officer,  Lieutenant 
Weir,  trying  to  catch  up  Gore's  column  between 
Sorel  and  St.  Denis  on  the  night  of  the  22nd  of 
November,  took  a  wrong  road,  reached  St.  Denis 
in  advance  of  Gore's  troops,  and  fell  into  the  insur- 
gents' hands.  When  Gore  attacked,  Weir  was  placed 
bound  in  a  wagon  to  be  taken  to  St.  Charles  : 
he  jumped  out  of  the  wagon,  and  was  there 
and  then  shot  and  stabbed  to  death  by  those 
who  were  in  charge.  His  body,  badly  mangled, 
was  subsequently  found  in  the  Richelieu  river, 
and  was  buried  at  Montreal  on  the  8th  of  December. 
In  1839,  a  man  of  the  name  of  Jalbert,  who  had 
been  in  principal  charge  of  the  wagon,  was  tried 
for  the  murder,  but  the  jury  disagreed  and  he 
went  unpunished.  Even  more  cold-blooded  was 
the  murder  of  a  stone-mason  Chartrand,  a  French 


Canadian  of  St.  John's,  who  had  enrolled  himself 
as  a  loyalist  volunteer.  Coming  home  from  a 
place  five  or  six  miles  off  on  the  afternoon  of  the 
28th  of  November,  he  was  intercepted  by  a  party 
of  ruffians,  some  of  them  with  loaded  guns.  He 
was  subjected  to  a  mock  trial,  condemned  as  a  spy, 
tied  to  a  tree,  and  shot.  Four  men  were  tried  for 
his  murder  in  1838,  but  were  acquitted  by  a  jury  of 
their  countrymen  in  face  of  the  strongest  evidence 
of  their  guilt.  Two  of  them,  however,  one  a  ring- 
leader, were  inculpated  in  the  second  rising  in  the 
autumn  of  1838,  were  tried  by  court  martial  and 
hung  early  in  1839. 

Gore's  repulse  at  St.  Denis  acted  as  a  stimulus 
to  armed  disloyalty,  and  the  disloyal  county  of 
the  Two  Mountains,  to  the  north-west  of  Montreal, 
gave  some  trouble.  The  centre  of  the  disturbance 
was  the  village  of  St.  Eustache,  and  the  leaders 
were  a  Swiss  adventurer  of  the  name  of  Girod,  and 
a  French  Canadian,  like  Wolfred  Nelson,  a  brave 
but  headstrong  doctor,  of  the  name  of  Chenier. 
Like  Nelson  at  St.  Denis,  Chenier  at  St.  Eustache 
turned  a  building  into  a  fort.  This  was  a 
convent,  of  which  he  took  forcible  possession 
on  the  1st  of  December.  Sir  John  Colborne 
waited  for  nearly  a  fortnight  until  he  was  fully 
prepared  to  settle  the  matter,  and  then  marched 
out  of  Montreal  on  the  13th  of  December  with 
2,000  men.  On  the  14th  the  troops  took  possession 
of  St.  Eustache,  where  Chenier  and — it  is  said— 
about  250  others  held  church,  convent,  and  other 
buildings,  and  fought  with  spirit.  Chenier  was 
killed,  much  of  the  village  was  burnt,  and  a  con- 


siderable  number  of  French  Canadians  were  killed 
or  taken  prisoners.  Girod  had  taken  flight  early 
in  the  proceedings,  but  a  few  days  later,  being 
hard  pressed,  shot  himself.  The  troops  went  on 
to  St.  Benoit,  another  little  centre  of  disaffection, 
fomented  by  one  of  the  very  few  French  Canadian 
priests  who  actively  opposed  the  government. 
Here  there  was  no  resistance,  but  notwithstanding 
there  was  burning  of  houses ;  a  third  village  was 
also  visited,  and  on  the  16th  the  troops  returned 
to  Montreal. 

This  was  the  end  of  the  rising  in  Lower  Canada. 
The  contemporary  insurrection  in  Upper  Canada 
was  even  more  fatuous  and  abortive.  The  danger 
in  this  province  arose  from  two  causes.  One  was 
purely  temporary,  and  has  already  been  mentioned, 
the  fact  that,  when  Sir  John  Colborne  asked  if 
any  troops  could  be  spared,  Sir  Francis  Bond 
Head  somewhat  theatrically  denuded  Toronto  of 
all  the  regulars,  being  well  inclined,  it  would  seem, 
to  show  to  the  world  the  loyalty  of  the  citizens 
of  Upper  Canada,  his  own  confidence  in  them  and 
their  confidence  in  him.  The  second  source  of 
danger  was  the  ease  with  which  raids  could  be 
organized  from  the  American  shores  of  the  Niagara 
and  Detroit  rivers.  For  the  rest,  the  community 
of  Upper  Canada  was  in  the  main  thoroughly 
loyal,  and  race  feeling  did  not  complicate  the 
situation.  What  Papineau  was  to  Lower  Canada 
Mackenzie  was  to  the  Upper  Province,  but  with  far 
more  courage,  even  less  discretion,  and  certainly 
less  widespread  influence.  In  both  provinces 
the  medical  profession  seems  to  have  produced 


leaders  among  the  Patriots  or  Rebels,  which- 
ever name  may  be  thought  more  appropriate.  As 
against  Wolfred  Nelson  and  Chenier  in  Lower 
Canada,  Drs.  Rolph,  Buncombe,  and  Morrison 
were  prominent  in  Upper  Canada.  Among  the 
reformers,  Baldwin  had  no  part  or  lot  in  the 
rising,  nor  had  Bidwell,  though  the  latter  did 
not  escape  suspicion,  which  induced  him,  wrought 
upon,  it  was  said,  unfairly  by  Sir  Francis  Head, 
to  exile  himself  for  the  rest  of  his  life  in  the  United 

During  the  summer  of  1838  Mackenzie  had  been 
agitating  through  the  province.  The  extreme  men 
showed  a  disposition  to  come  into  line  with 
Papineau  in  Lower  Canada,  but  there  was  little 
talk  of  resort  to  force,  and  only  gradually,  in  the 
country  districts,  some  kind  of  secret  preparation 
was  made  for  taking  up  arms.  Eventually  the 
plan  was  evolved  of  capturing  Toronto  and  the 
Government,  the  night  of  the  7th  of  December 
being  fixed  for  the  attempt.  It  was  long  before 
Sir  Francis  Head  would  admit  the  possibility  of 
any  danger  or  take  any  steps  towards  meeting  it, 
although  a  good  soldier,  Colonel  Fitzgibbon,  whose 
name  had  been  a  household  word  in  the  war  of 
1812,  was  urgent  ih  his  warnings.  At  length,  at 
the  beginning  of  December,  it  was  determined  to 
arrest  Mackenzie  and  to  call  out  some  of  the  militia, 
with  the  result  that  the  conspirators  hastened 
their  movements,  and  resolved  to  make  their 
attempt  on  Toronto  on  the  night  of  the  4th.  But 
when  plans  are  changed  in  conspiracies,  differences 
of  opinion  arise,  there  is  uncertainty  and  confusion, 

1352-1  H 


warning  is  given  to  the  other  side,  and  the  scheme 
miscarries.  The  rebels  picketed  Toronto  on  the 
night  of  the  4th  of  December,  but  made  no  attack. 
A  loyalist,  Colonel  Moodie,  was  intercepted  and 
shot;  an  insurgent  leader,  Anderson,  was  shot; 
citizens  were  stopped  and  arrested  by  the  rebels, 
but  one  or  two  broke  through,  and  the  alarm  was 
most  effectually  given  in  the  town.  On  the  next 
morning,  the  5th,  after  a  reconnaissance,  Fitzgibbon, 
with  sound  military  instinct,  wished  at  once  to 
attack  the  insurgents  in  their  position,  but  Head 
refused  his  consent  and  sent  Baldwin  and  Rolph 
to  parley  with  them,  in  happy  ignorance  that 
Rolph  was  in  their  inmost  secrets.  The  conference 
came  to  nothing,  and  when  night  fell,  Lount  and 
Mackenzie  led  their  misguided  followers  towards  the 
city.  They  came  across  a  small  picket  of  twenty- 
seven  men  whom  Fitzgibbon  had  sent  out.  The 
picket  fired  and  then  ran  away,  and  so  did  the  700 
insurgents.  Militia  and  volunteers  were  now  fast 
coming  into  Toronto,  and  by  the  following  night, 
the  night  of  the  6th,  the  Government  had  some 
1,200  fighting  men  at  its  back.  On  the  7th,  Fitz- 
gibbon and  Colonel  MacNab  attacked,  and  within 
half  an  hour  the  rebels  were  dispersed  and  the  rising 
was  at  an  end.  MacNab  and  a  force  of  500  men 
went  on  into  the  London  district,  where  Dr. 
Duncombe,  of  American  birth,  had  been  organizing 
rebellion,  but  it  had  all  melted  away,  and  Duncombe 
had  fled  to  the  United  States.  Mackenzie,  too, 
made  his  way  across  the  frontier,  and  so  did  Rolph. 
Among  other  prominent  rebels,  one,  Van  Egmont 
by  name,  who  was  reputed  to  have  served  under 


Napoleon,    died    in    prison  ;      two,    Lount    and 
Matthews,  were  hanged. 

In  the  United  States  Mackenzie  tried  to  organize 
invasion  of  Canada,  and  frontier  raids  followed. 
Just  above  the  Falls  of  Niagara,  a  small  island 
in  Canadian  waters,  Navy  Island,  was,  at  his 
instigation,  occupied  by  a  band  of  filibusters  from 
Buffalo,  who  held  it  for  a  month  from  the  middle 
of  December  1837  to  the  middle  of  January  1838. 
A  small  Buffalo  steamer,  the  Caroline,  had  been 
chartered  to  carry  warlike  stores  and  supplies  to 
the  island,  and  on  the  night  of  the  29th  of  December 
a  party  of  Canadians  rowed  across  the  river  to 
the  American  shore,  cut  out  and  burnt  the  vessel, 
and  killed  one  man  on  the  wharf.  This  incident 
caused  strong  resentment  in  the  United  States, 
although,  from  the  Canadian  point  of  view,  it  was 
no  more  than  a  justifiable  reprisal,  inasmuch  as 
American  soil  had  been  openly  made  a  basis  for 
attack  upon  a  friendly  nation,  and  the  raiders  were 
almost  entirely  American  citizens.  Eventually, 
between  three  and  four  years  later,  Daniel  Webster 
obtained  from  Sir  Robert  Peel  a  friendly  explana- 
tion and  what  was  held  to  be  an  adequate  apology. 
The  raid,  or  attempted  raid,  on  the  Niagara 
frontier  was  supplemented  by  similar  attempts 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Detroit  in  January  and 
February  1838,  in  the  course  of  which  an  Irish 
American  adventurer  of  the  name  of  Theller  was 
taken  prisoner.  He  was  said  to  have  been  a  doctor, 
like  various  other  men  who  were  prominent  in 
these  Canadian  disturbances,  and  he  obtained 
some  notoriety  by  making  a  bold  escape  from 

H  2 


his  prison  in  the  citadel  of  Quebec  in  October 

Martial  law  was  proclaimed  in  the  district  of 
Montreal  on  the  5th  of  December  1837,  and  the  dis- 
trict remained  under  martial  law  until  the  following 
27th  of  April,  when,  just  a  month  before  Lord 
Durham's  arrival,  Colborne,  as  acting  Governor- 
General,  dispensed  with  it  in  accordance  with 
wishes  expressed  from  home. 

In  September  1837  Lord  Gosford  had  placed 
himself  in  the  hands  of  the  Home  Government, 
intimating  that  personally  he  would  be  glad  to 
resign,  though  he  was  ready  to  continue  in  office, 
if  the  ministers  so  desired.  He  had  been  pledged 
to  a  policy  of  conciliation,  and  it  was  rapidly 
becoming  evident  that  other  measures  would  be 
necessary,  which  might  better  be  entrusted  to 
other  hands.  On  the  27th  of  November  Lord 
Glenelg  wrote  to  accept  his  resignation,  and  he 
wrote  also  to  Sir  John  Colborne  intimating  that 
the  administration  of  the  government  would 
devolve  upon  him.  Lord  Gosford's  departure 
from  Canada  was  delayed  by  an  injury  which  he 
received  from  a  fall,  but  he  finally  left  Quebec  on 
the  27th  of  February  1838,  and  on  the  same  day 
Colborne  assumed  the  government.  In  the  latter 
part  of  March,  as  already  told,  Sir  Francis  Head 
was  replaced  in  Upper  Canada  by  Sir  George 
Arthur,  who  had  previously  been  Lieutenant- 
Go  vernor  of  Van  Diemen's  Land,  now  Tasmania. 

The  first  Parliament  of  Queen  Victoria  met  in 
November  1837.  Just  before  the  adjournment 
for  the  Christmas  holidays  news  reached  England  of 


the  outbreak  in  Canada.  '  The  adjournment  before 
the  Christmas  recess,'  says  the  Annual  Register  for 
1838,1  '  took  place  almost  contemporaneously  with 
the  arrival  of  the  intelligence  of  the  Canadian  revolt, 
though  not  before  some  younger  members  of  the 
Radical  section  had  found  an  opportunity  of  ex- 
pressing their  exuberant  joy  at  the  fact  and  their 
confident  predictions  of  its  inevitable  consequences.' 
This  statement  may  have  been  somewhat  of  an 
exaggeration,  but  some  of  the  utterances  were 
deplorable.  One  of  the  most  violent  speeches  was 
made  by  Sir  William  Molesworth,  who  was  not 
alone  in  hoping  that  Canada  would  pass  from  under 
the  British  dominion.  That '  that  dominion  should 
now  be  brought  to  a  conclusion  I  for  one  most 
sincerely  desire '.  This  was  on  the  22nd  of 
December  1837,  but  Molesworth's  normal  view 
was  a  saner  one,  for  on  the  following  6th  of  March, 
in  attacking  Lord  Glenelg's  administration  of  the 
colonies,  while  he  still  expressed  a  hope  that 
the  people  of  Lower  Canada  would  become  inde- 
pendent, if  their  constitution  was  not  restored  to 
them,  he  stated  that  he  yielded  to  no  member  in 
the  House  of  Commons  '  in  a  desire  to  preserve 
and  extend  the  colonial  empire  of  England'. 

The  House  met  again  on  the  16th  of  January 
1838,  and  Lord  John  Russell  immediately  intro- 
duced into  the  House  of  Commons  a  Bill  which, 
after  being  much  amended  and  recast,  became  law 
on  the  10th  of  February,  entitled  '  An  Act  to  make 
temporary  provision  for  the  government  of  Lower 
Canada'.2  It  suspended  the  constitution  of  1791 

1  p.  2.  2  1  Vic.  c.  ix. 


in  Lower  Canada  from  the  date  when  the  Act  should 
be  proclaimed  in  the  province  until  the  1st  of 
November  1840;  and  it  empowered  the  Crown  to 
constitute  a  special  Council,  by  authorizing  the 
Governor  to  appoint  councillors  in  accordance 
with  instructions.  The  operation  of  the  laws  to 
be  passed  by  the  Council  was  limited  to  the  1st  of 
November  1842,  '  unless  continued  by  competent 
authority',  and  the  Council  was  precluded  from 
passing  any  legislation  which  should  impose  new 
taxes  or  involve  constitutional  changes.  All  laws 
were  to  be  proposed  to  the  Council  by  the  Governor, 
and  the  presence  of  five  councillors  at  least  was 
required  for  the  passing  of  a  law.  When  explain- 
ing the  proposals  of  the  Government,  Lord  John 
Russell  intimated  that  the  extensive  powers 
conferred  by  the  Act  would  be  entrusted  to  Lord 
Durham.  Lord  Durham  himself  in  the  House  of 
Lords  gave  expression  to  the  reluctance  with  which 
he  undertook  the  charge.  As  a  matter  of  fact  he 
had  been  invited  by  Lord  Melbourne  in  the  previous 
July  to  take  the  governor-generalship  of  Canada, 
but  had  declined.  He  was  again  approached  after 
the  news  of  the  rebellion  had  been  received,  and  it 
was  only  on  the  day  before  Parliament  met  in 
January  1838  that  he  finally  consented  to  go  out. 

The  new  Act  practically  created  a  dictatorship, 
and  was,  therefore,  strongly  opposed  by  the 
Radicals  in  its  passage  through  Parliament.  It 
would  have  been  even  more  hotly  opposed  but 
that  Durham  was  conspicuous  for  his  Radical 
sympathies.  Roebuck,  not  then  in  Parliament, 
was  heard  against  the  Bill  at  the  bar  of  either 


House.  In  the  House  of  Lords  Brougham  was 
specially  bitter  against  the  Government  and  its 
policy.  But  the  policy  prevailed.  The  Act  was 
sent  out  to  Canada  with  instructions  to  Colborne 
to  call  together  a  special  Council  in  order  to  deal 
with  immediate  requirements,  but  to  make  it 
clear  that  Lord  Durham  on  arrival  would  con- 
stitute his  own  Council.  Colborne  acted  accord- 
ingly and  nominated  a  Council  consisting  of  21 
members,  11  of  whom  were  French  Canadians. 
The  Council  met  on  the  18th  of  April  and  was 
prorogued  on  the  5th  of  May.  Lord  Durham 
arrived  at  the  end  of  May,  and  on  the  28th  of  June 
nominated  his  own  special  Council  consisting  of 
five  members  only,  unconnected  with  political  life 
in  Canada. 

Was  there  any  real  justification  for  the  armed 
rising  in  the  two  Canadian  provinces  ?  The  answer 
must  be  that  there  was  not.  There  was  ground 
for  discontent,  the  discontent  of  communities 
growing  and  conscious  of  growth,  and  desirous 
with  reason  of  more  extended  control  of  their 
own  destinies,  the  discontent  in  Lower  Canada  of 
a  French  race  largely  officered  by  Englishmen,  the 
discontent  in  Upper  Canada  of  a  democratic  party 
stonewalled  by  official  Conservatism.  But  the 
popular  demands  were,  for  the  time  and  place, 
excessive  and  unreasonable,  the  grievances  were 
clothed  in  exaggerated  language,  and  the  weakness 
and  speedy  collapse  of  the  outbreak  in  either 
province  testified  to  the  absence  of  deep-seated  and 
widespread  resentment  against  grinding  tyranny. 
It  may  be  said  that  the  rebellion  was  the  product 


of  three  causes,  first  the  war  of  American  Inde- 
pendence, secondly,  unwise  speeches  in  England, 
thirdly,  real,  though  not  overwhelming  grievances. 
The  war  of  American  Independence  and  its  out- 
come coloured  the  whole  of  the  subsequent  colonial 
history  of  England ;  especially  it  affected  the 
history  of  the  British  provinces  which  bordered 
on  the  United  States.  The  popular  view  of  the 
war,  adopted  and  embellished  by  the  Whigs,  was 
that  it  was  a  signal  and  crowning  illustration  for 
all  time  of  the  triumph  of  liberty  over  oppression : 
and  the  terms  used  of  it  implied  that  the  English 
had  been  guilty  of  the  wildest  excesses  of  tyranny. 
This  led  to  similar  exaggeration,  whenever  in  after 
years  there  was  friction  between  a  colony  and  the 
motherland  ;  and  in  the  case  of  Canada  speeches 
made  by  men  like  Roebuck  or  Hume,  who  were 
either  paid  advocates  of  the  colonies  or  so  con- 
stituted as  to  be  incapable  of  imagining  that  the 
Home  Government  for  the  time  being  could  be 
right,  or  speeches  again  made  from  the  Irish  point 
of  view  by  O'Connell,  contributed  to  a  distorted 
vision  of  the  actual  facts.  Lower  Canada  had 
not  even  the  cause  of  complaint  which  the  thirteen 
colonies  had  been  able  to  put  forward,  that  new 
taxes  were  being  imposed  from  without  upon  the 
provincials  by  the  Government  at  home.  As  far 
as  the  finances  were  concerned,  it  was  a  question 
not  of  taxation  but  of  appropriation.  In  the  words 
of  the  Annual  Register  for  1838,1  '  Throughout 
the  unfortunate  differences  which  we  are  about 
to  notice,  no  question  ever  existed  with  respect  to 

1  p.  4. 


the  imposition  of  duties  or  the  levying  of  money. 
The  claims  of  either  party  were  limited  to  the 
right  of  appropriating  what  must,  at  all  events, 
be  collected  and  what,  if  not  disposed  of  j  must 
accumulate  from  year  to  year  in  the  public  chest.' 
In  refusing  a  Civil  List,  in  return  for  the  control 
of  their  finances,  the  democratic  party  in  Canada 
were  refusing  what  it  would  have  been  right  and 
reasonable  to  grant,  and  the  attacks  made  upon 
successive  Governors-General  were  unworthy  and 
contemptible.  None  the  less,  there  were  wrongs 
to  be  righted  and  causes  of  friction  to  be  removed  : 
the  time  had  come  in  all  the  provinces  of  British 
North  America  to  recognize  that  the  peoples  were 
now  not  children  but  adults,  and  the  man  had 
come,  in  Lord  Durham,  to  show  the  better  way. 



WHEN  Lord  Durham's  Report  was  laid  before 
Parliament  in  1839,  it  was  prefaced  by  the  Commis- 
sion which  is  now  reprinted,  and  which  had  already 
been  given  separately  to  Parliament  on  the  9th  of 
July  1838.  It  was  a  Royal  Commission  under  the 
Great  Seal,  appointing  him  to  be  '  High  Commis- 
sioner and  Governor-General  of  all  Her  Majesty's 
provinces  on  the  continent  of  North  America,  and 
of  the  islands  of  Prince  Edward  and  Newfound- 
land'. The  Commission  recites  that  he  had 
already  received  five  several  Commissions  appoint- 
ing him  to  be  Governor-in-Chief  of  the  four 
provinces  of  Lower  Canada,  Upper  Canada,  Nova 
Scotia,  and  New  Brunswick,  and  of  Prince  Edward 
Island.  Similar  powers  had  been  given  to  his 
predecessors  ;  but,  as  appears  from  Lord  Glenelg's 
letter  to  Lord  Durham  of  the  3rd  of  April  1838; 
only  three  Commissions  had  previously  been  issued 
for  the  five  colonies,  instead  of  one  for  each.  The 
Commission  then  goes  on  to  appoint  him  '  to  be 
our  High  Commissioner  for  the  adjustment  of 
certain  important  questions  depending  in  the  said 
provinces  of  Lower  and  Upper  Canada,  respecting 
the  form  and  future  Government  of  the  said 
provinces  ',  and  to  authorize  him  as  High  Com- 


missioner  '  to  enquire  into  and  as  far  as  may 
be  possible  to  adjust  all  questions  depending  in 
the  said  provinces  of  Lower  and  Upper  Canada, 
or  either  of  them,  respecting  the  form  and  ad- 
ministration of  the  Civil  Government  thereof 
respectively  '.  Then,  '  with  a  view  to  the  adjust- 
ment of  such  questions,'  the  Commission  appoints 
him  to  be  Governor-General  of  all  the  British 
North  American  provinces  and  islands,  including 
Newfoundland,  but  the  commission  of  the  exist- 
ing Governor  of  Newfoundland  is  specially  safe- 

Finally  the  Commission  empowers  him  to  hold 
the  offices  of  '  High  Commissioner  and  Governor- 
General  of  our  said  provinces  on  the  continent  of 
North  America,  and  of  the  said  islands  of  Prince 
Edward  and  Newfoundland'. 

This  document  gave  Lord  Durham  a  threefold 
authority.  In  the  first  place  he  was,  like  his 
predecessors,  Governor-in-Chief  of  Lower  Canada, 
Upper  Canada,  Nova  Scotia,  New  Brunswick, 
and  Prince  Edward  Island.  His  legal  powers 
were  those  of  Governor-in-Chief.  He  was  not, 
nor  had  his  predecessors  been,  Governor-in-Chief 
of  Newfoundland,  for  in  Newfoundland  there  was 
a  Governor  and  not  merely  a  Lieutenant-Governor. 
In  the  second  place  he  was  High  Commissioner  to 
do  special  work  in  two  of  the  provinces.  In  the 
third  place  he  was  Governor-General  of  all  the 
provinces  and  islands,  including  Newfoundland. 
The  appointment  of  Governor-in-Chief  applied  to 
each  province  or  island  separately,  excluding 
Newfoundland.  The  appointment  of  Governor- 


General  applied  to  them  all  collectively,  includ- 
ing Newfoundland  ;  but  it  is  not  quite  easy  to 
appreciate  why  the  appointment  of  Governor- 
General  of  all  the  provinces  and  islands  collectively 
was  conferred  upon  him  '  with  a  view  to  the 
adjustment'  of  the  special  questions  in  Lower  and 
Upper  Canada,  in  connexion  with  which  he  had 
been  appointed  High  Commissioner ;  nor  is  it 
clear  why  he  is  styled  High  Commissioner  as  well 
as  Governor-General  of  all  the  provinces  and 
islands.1  The  meaning  of  the  document  can  be 
interpreted  from  the  first  two  paragraphs  of  Lord 
Durham's  Report.  It  was,  that  certain  grave 
troubles  had  come  into  existence  in  two  Cana- 
dian provinces  which  required  a  very  special 
man,  clothed  with  very  special  authority,  to  deal 
with  them  :  that  the  conditions  in  other  parts  of 
British  North  America  were  not  dissimilar:  that 
the  chosen  man  should,  therefore,  in  addition  to 
possessing  the  ordinary  powers  of  government 
which  previous  Governors-in-Chief  had  enjoyed, 
be  given  a  High  Commissionership  intended  pri- 
marily to  apply  to  Lower  and  Upper  Canada  and 
only  to  special  purposes  in  those  two  provinces, 
but  to  apply  also,  if  required,  in  combination  with 
a  general  authority  as  Governor-General,  to  the 
whole  of  British  North  America,  even  including 
Newfoundland.  In  short,  the  difficulties  which 
had  arisen  in  Lower  and  Upper  Canada  differed 

1  In  the  Commission  to  Charles  Buller  empowering  him  to  inquire 
into  public  lands  (see  voL  iii,  Appendix  B),  Lord  Durham  appears  as 
Governor-General  only,  not  as  High  Commissioner,  and  Newfoundland 
is  wrongly  given  a  Lieutenant-Governor  instead  of  a  Governor. 


rather  in  degree  than  in  kind  from  those  which 
had  occurred  or  might  occur  elsewhere  in  British 
North  America,  and  therefore  all  the  provinces 
and  islands  were,  so  to  speak,  grouped  under  Lord 
Durham's  authority  as  Governor-General,  and  to 
all  he  might,  if  necessary,  appty  whatever  powers 
appertained  to  him  as  High  Commissioner.  Thus, 
in  the  first  of  the  three  letters  or  dispatches  in 
which  Lord  Glenelg  conveyed  to  him  the  instruc- 
tions of  the  Government,  the  letter  of  the  20th 
of  January,  it  is  stated :  '  Neither  ...  is  it  the 
intention  of  Her  Majesty's  Government  to  exclude 
other  subjects  from  your  consideration,  or  to 
restrict  you  from  entertaining  other  proposals, 
whether  affecting  the  two  Canadas  only  or  all  the 
British  North  American  provinces,  which  you  may 
be  induced  to  think  conducive  to  the  permanent 
establishment  of  an  improved  system  of  Govern- 
ment in  Her  Majesty's  North  American  possessions. 
Your  Commission  will  be  co-extensive  with  the 
whole  of  these  possessions ' ;  and  in  the  letter  of  the 
21st  of  April  reference  is  made  to  the  powers  which 
were  vested  in  him  '  for  the  purpose  of  a  general 
superintendence  over  all  British  North  America '. 

The  formal  Royal  Instructions,  which  accom- 
panied Lord  Durham's  five  Commissions  as  Gover- 
nor-in-chief,  were  much  the  same  as  had  been 
given  to  his  predecessors.  In  the  case  of  Lower 
and  Upper  Canada,  the  old  Instructions  which 
had  been  handed  on  from  Lord  Dalhousie's  time 
were  continued,  with  the  proviso  that  they  should 
apply  '  so  far  only  as  the  same  are  not  obsolete  or 
have  not  been  superseded  by  any  such  statute  as 


aforesaid  or  as  the  same  may  not  be  found  to  bo 
inapplicable  to  the  present  state  of  affairs  in  our 
said  province ' ;  and  in  the  case  of  Lower  Canada, 
a  separate  Instruction  was  added  as  to  constituting 
the  special  Council  authorized  by  the  newly  passed 
Act  '  to  make  temporary  provision  for  the  Govern- 
ment of  Lower  Canada '.  Over  and  above  these 
formal  Instructions,  Lord  Glenelg  conveyed  to  him 
the  views  of  the  Melbourne  Ministry  in  the  three 
letters  of  the  20th  of  January,  3rd  of  April,  and 
21st  of  April  1838,  which  are  reprinted  in  vol.  in, 
and  of  which  a  few  words  must  be  said. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  Parliament  met 
on  the  16th  of  January  1838.  The  Instructions 
contained  in  the  letter  of  the  20th  of  January 
were  therefore  given  almost  immediately  after 
Lord  John  Russell  had  introduced  the  Bill  for  sus- 
pending the  constitution  of  Lower  Canada,  which 
eventually,  on  the  10th  of  February,  became  the  Act 
'  to  make  temporary  provision  for  the  Government 
of  Lower  Canada ',  and  they  followed  close  upon 
Lord  Durham's  acceptance  of  the  charge  which 
had  been  offered  to  him.  The  Government  were 
anxious  to  lose  no  time  in  embodying  their  policy 
in  the  form  of  Instructions,  but  the  letter  of  the 
20th  of  January  was  absurdly  premature,  seeing 
that  the  law  with  which  the  Instructions  were 
coupled  had  yet  to  be  passed.  It  will  be  seen 
that  in  this  letter  Lord  Glenelg  authorized  Lord 
Durham  somewhat  elaborately,  though  leaving 
him  a  discretion  in  the  matter,  to  call  together 
an  advisory  committee  of  the  two  Canadas  with  an 
elective  element  in  it,  for  the  purpose  of  consulting 


the  members  on  some  or  all  of  the  outstanding 
questions,  especially  those  which  were  common 
to  the  two  provinces.  A  reference  to  this  proposed 
committee  had  been  embodied  in  the  preamble 
to  the  Bill  which  was  then  before  the  House  of 
Commons.  The  first  draft  of  the  Bill  recited  that, 
whereas  under  existing  circumstances  the  House 
of  Assembly  in  Lower  Canada  could  not  be  called 
together  without  detriment  to  the  public  interests, 

'  and  whereas  it  is  nevertheless  expedient  that  the 
said  Province  should  be  permanently  governed  on 
constitutional  principles  adapted  to  promote  the 
interests  of  all  classes  of  Her  Majesty's  subjects  in 
the  said  Province  :  And  whereas,  in  order  to  the 
preparation  of  such  measures  as  it  may  be  desir- 
able to  propose  to  Parliament  for  improving  the 
constitution  of  the  provinces  of  Lower  Canada 
and  Upper  Canada,  or  either  of  them,  and  for 
regulating  divers  questions  in  which  the  said  pro- 
vinces are  jointly  interested,  Her  Majesty  hath  been 
pleased  to  authorize  the  Governor-General  of  Her 
Majesty's  provinces  in  North  America  to  summon 
a  meeting,  to  be  holden  within  the  said  provinces 
of  Lower  Canada  and  Upper  Canada,  consisting  of 
the  said  Governor-General  and  of  certain  persons 
to  be  by  Her  Majesty  or  on  Her  Majesty's  behalf 
for  that  purpose  appointed,  and  also  consisting  of 
certain  other  persons  representing  the  interests 
and  opinions  of  Her  Majesty's  subjects  inhabiting 
the  said  provinces,  and  whereas  it  is  in  the  mean- 
time necessary  that  temporary  provision  should  be 
made  for  the  Government  of  the  said  province  of 
Lower  Canada,  Be  it  therefore  enacted  .  .  .  ' 

The  fact  was  that  the   Whig  Ministry,   being 
driven  to  a  measure  of  coercion,  tried  to  sweeten 


it,  and  to  conciliate  their  Radical  following,  by 
introducing  into  the  preamble  of  the  Bill  and  into 
the  Instructions  to  their  Commissioner  evidence 
of  the  Liberal  and  Constitutional  principles  on 
which  they  prided  themselves.  But  they  had  to 
reckon  with  Sir  Robert  Peel,  who  would  have 
none  of  this  preamble,  and  pointed  out  with 
irresistible  force  that  it  was  an  attempt,  by  a 
side  wind  in  the  form  of  a  preamble  to  an  Act,  to 
make  Parliament  responsible  for  the  acts  and 
the  policy  of  the  Executive  Government.  On  the 
same  grounds  he  refused  to  give  any  Parliamentary 
recognition  to  Lord  Glenelg's  Instructions  to  Lord 
Durham,1  and  he  pointed  out  the  palpable  absurdity 
of  giving  instructions  in  January  to  a  man  who 
would  not  arrive  in  Canada  till  the  end  of  May. 
The  end  of  it  was  that,  being  given  a  lead  from  his 
own  side,  by  '  Bear '  Ellice  and  Charles  Buller,  Lord 
John  Russell  struck  the  preamble  out  of  the  Bill, 
and  no  more  was  heard  of  the  elaborate  instructions 
for  calling  together  an  advisory  committee. 

Lord  Glenelg's  letter  of  the  20th  of  January  1838 
is  a  wordy  document  with  high  phrases  and  fine 
sentiments,  evidently  designed  for  the  shop- window; 
but  it  will  be  noted  that  the  letter  refers  specially 
to  the  complaint  made  against  the  Quebec  Assem- 
bly that  it  was  animated  by  an  'anti-commercial 
spirit  of  legislation  ',  and  that  prominence  is  given 
to  the  relations  between  the  two  Canadian  pro- 

1  An  extract  from  Lord  Glenelg's  letter  of  instructions  to  Lord 
Durham  of  January  20, 1838,  was  laid  before  Parliament  on  January  23, 
1838.  The  whole  letter,  together  with  the  letters  of  April  3  and  April  21 , 
was  included  in  the  Parliamentary  Paper  of  February  11,  1839. 


vinces  and  the  difficulties  which  had  arisen  in  this 
connexion.  Some  kind  of  federal  legislature  is 
suggested  which  should  supplement,  but  not  take 
the  place  of,  the  separate  legislatures  of  Lower 
and  Upper  Canada.  The  letter  also  adverts  to  the 
constitution  of  the  Legislative  Council  hi  Lower 
Canada,  and  to  the  resolution  of  the  House  of 
Commons  that  the  Council  should  be  given  a  more 
popular  character  without  being  made  elective. 

The  letter  of  the  3rd  of  April  deals  with  Lord 
Durham's  Commissions  and  with  his  relations, 
under  their  terms  and  under  the  Royal  Instructions, 
to  the  Lieutenant-Governors.  It  may  be  inferred 
from  it  that  Lord  Durham  was  not  expected  to 
visit  Newfoundland,  as  no  reference  is  made  to 
the  possibility  of  his  doing  so. 

The  letter  of  the  21st  of  April  is  by  way  of 
completing  a  series  of  Instructions.  It  is  again  a 
wordy  document  with  a  number  of  copybook  plati- 
tudes. It  refers  more  especially  to  relations  with 
the  United  States,  and  to  the  desire  of  the  Whig 
Government  that  gentle  treatment  should,  in  other 
than  exceptional  cases,  be  meted  out  to  those  in 
Canada  who  were  inculpated  in  the  late  rising. 
With  this  end  in  view,  Lord  Durham  is  given  an 
unrestricted  power  of  pardon.  The  letter  concludes 
with  an  assurance  of  the  full  confidence  of  Her 
Majesty's  Government  and '  of  their  utmost  support 
and  assistance  '. 

On  the  whole,  it  would  be  somewhat  difficult  to 
find  a  more  futile  set  of  Instructions  to  a  strong 
man  setting  out  on  a  difficult  mission,  but  they 
had  the  merit  of  leaving  him  a  wide  discretion. 





LORD  DURHAM  having  been  appointed  Governor- 
General  of  all  the  British  North  American  Colonies, 
including  Newfoundland,  the  nominal  scope  of  his 
Report  was  the  whole  of  British  North  America ; 
and,  in  so  far  as  the  Report  laid  down  general 
principles,   or  foreshadowed   a  union  of   all  the 
provinces,  it  did  to  a  greater  or  less  extent  include 
them  all.     But  the  primary  object  of  his  mission 
was  to  adjust  outstanding  and  pressing  questions 
in  Lower  and  Upper  Canada, '  respecting  the  form 
and  future  Government '  of  those  two  provinces  ; 
and  it  has  been  seen  that,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  his 
stay  in  British  North  America  hardly  exceeded 
five  months,  all  of  which  time  he  spent  in  Lower 
Canada  with  the  exception  of  eleven  days  which  he 
gave  to  the  Upper  Province.     Nova  Scotia,  New 
Brunswick,  Prince  Edward  Island,  and  Newfound- 
land, he    never  visited   at  all.     He  interviewed 
delegates  from  Nova  Scotia,  New  Brunswick,  and 
Prince   Edward  Island ;    and  the   Crown  Lands 
Inquiry,  which  was  entrusted  to  Charles  Buller, 
included  these  three  colonies  as  well  as  the  two 
Canadas ;    but,  except  in  connexion  with  Crown 

CHAP,  v      THE  SCOPE  OF  THE  REPORT  115 

lands,  only  three  pages  of  the  Report  in  its  original 
Blue  Book  form  are  devoted  to  '  the  Eastern 
provinces  and  Newfoundland  '  ;  and,  while  the 
Commission  which  empowered  Buller  to  inquire 
into  Crown  lands  included  Newfoundland,  the 
actual  inquiry  and  Buller's  Report  left  out  that 
island  altogether.  It  was  in  fact  a  farce,  as  events 
turned  out,  to  have  brought  Newfoundland  at  all 
into  the  Commission  and  into  the  Report,  for  Lord 
Durham  says  plainly  (ii.  202): — 'With  respect  to 
the  colony  of  Newfoundland,  I  have  been  able 
to  obtain  no  information  whatever,  except  from 
sources  open  to  the  public  at  large  '.  The  scope  of 
the  Report  may  then  be  fairly  summed  up  by 
saying  that  it  deals  in  detail  with  Lower  and 
Upper  Canada,  and  that  it  contains  information, 
deductions  and  suggestions  which  were  applicable 
in  the  first  place  to  the  Maritime  Provinces  of 
North  America,  and  in  the  second  place  to  other 
parts  of  the  world,  including  Newfoundland,  which 
had  been  colonized  by  British  citizens — more 
applicable  indeed  to  some  other  provinces  of  the 
Empire  than  to  Newfoundland,  for  the  conditions 
of  Newfoundland  were  sui  generis  and  wholly 
different  from  those  of  an  ordinary  British  colony. 
The  Report  is,  in  short,  mainly  a  special  report 
upon  the  two  Canadas,  but  partly  also  a  general 
essay  upon  the  best  method  of  adjusting  the 
relations  between  Great  Britain  and  British 
colonies  which  are  not  merely  dependencies, 
including  a  model  scheme  of  colonization  by  means 
of  the  proper  application  of  the  public  lands  of 
the  colonies. 

i  2 



Turning  to  the  character  of  the  Report,  critics 
wishing  to  find  fault  might  lay  stress  upon  one  or 
two  instances  of  direct  misstatement,  and  more 
numerous  instances  of  obvious  exaggeration;  but 
the  Report  must  fairly  be  considered  as  a  whole, 
and  its  two  main  features,  apart  from  the  substance 
of  the  recommendations  which  it  contains,  are  in 
the  first  place  its  plain  speaking,  and  in  the 
second  place  its  breadth  of  view.  The  first  of 
these  two  characteristics  may  be  illustrated  by 
reference  to  the  marginal  notes,  which  form 
a  running  analysis,  unusual  in  a  Blue  Book,  and 
suitable  rather  to  a  history  or  a  general  essay  than 
to  the  report  of  a  special  commission.  Here  are 
three  notes  which  follow  one  another  on  ii.  59,  60 : 
4  The  Canadians  would  revenge  themselves  on  the 
English  by  any  aid '  ;  '  The  English  population 
will  never  tolerate  the  French  pretensions  to 
nationality  '  ;  '  They  complain  of  being  the  sport 
of  parties  at  home.'  And  here  are  three  more  on 
ii.  292-4 :  '  Hopeless  inferiority  of  the  French- 
Canadian  race  ; '  '  Economical  obstacle  to  perpetua- 
tion of  their  nationality ; '  *  The  French  nation- 
ality is  destitute  of  invigorating  qualities.'  Notes 
of  this  kind,  and  such  strong  language  as  will  be 
found  in  the  body  of  the  Report,  would  never  see 
the  light  in  the  report  of  a  Royal  Commission  at 
the  present  day,  though  possibly  some  approach 
to  it  might  now  and  again  be  found  in  separate 
dispatches.  It  is  interesting  to  speculate  how  far 
this  plain  speaking  was  the  outcome  of  the  man, 


and  how  far  of  the  time — a  time  before  summaries 
of  speeches  and  reports  were  telegraphed  to  the 
ends  of  the  earth.  Lord  Durham  was  not  accus- 
tomed to  mince  his  words,  nor  did  he  greatly 
regard  the  feelings  of  others.  His  right-hand  man, 
Charles  Buller,  had  a  trenchant  pen,  and  both  men 
were  at  once  indifferent  to  political  niceties,  and 
minded  to  read  their  countrymen  at  home  a  lesson 
for  all  time  on  the  subject  of  colonial  administration. 
Hence  the  Report  is  full  blooded,  and,  while  nothing 
is  set  down  in  malice,  nothing  is  extenuated.  The 
writer  is  determined  to  paint  a  graphic  picture  of 
the  truth,  as  it  appeared  to  his  eyes,  and  he  has 
beyond  question  succeeded  in  his  effort.  But  if 
Lord  Durham  and  Buller  had  lived  in  our  own  day, 
it  cannot  be  doubted  that  the  Report  would  not 
have  been  so  outspoken.  Violent  party  speeches 
are  as  common  as  ever,  but  in  the  matter  of  reports, 
especially  with  regard  to  the  dominions  beyond  the 
seas,  the  men  of  the  present  time  weigh  their  words 
more  carefully  than  was  the  case  seventy  years 
ago.  It  is  well  that  it  should  be  so.  We  could 
wish  that  our  Parliamentary  Papers  were  marked 
by  the  vigour,  the  clearness,  the  eloquence,  the 
honesty  which,  over  and  above  its  supreme  ability, 
are  conspicuous  in  Lord  Durham's  Report,  but 
we  could  and  would  dispense  with  criticisms  and 
terms  of  expression  which  may  be  valuable  for 
confidential  purposes,  but  in  public  documents  are 
calculated  to  give  abiding  offence  to  classes  or  to 

And  Lord  Durham's  Report,  great  and  remedial 
as  it  was,  by  form  as  well  as  by  substance  gave 


grave  offence  in  both  Canadas.  As  late  as  the 
3rd  of  February,  1910,  Sir  Wilfrid  Laurier  referred 
to  it  in  the  Canadian  House  of  Commons  in  the 
following  terms. 

'  It  is  a  singular  fact  that  the  report  of  Lord 
Durham  was  received  by  the  French  Canadians 
of  that  day  with  pained  surprise.  The  reason  is 
known  to  those  who  have  studied  the  history  of 
that  period.  Friend  of  liberty  as  he  was,  broad 
as  he  was  in  his  conceptions,  f  ar-visioned  as  events 
show  him  to  have  been,  Lord  Durham  himself 
did  not  appreciate  the  effect  of  liberal  institutions. 
Coming  to  Canada  at  a  time  when  the  very  atmo- 
sphere was  reeking  with  rebellion,  he  formed  a 
hasty  judgement  upon  the  French  population  of 
that  day,  which  he  expressed  in  hasty  and  some- 
what haughty  language.  He  thought  they  could 
not  be  reconciled  to  British  rule,  and  stated  in  his 
report  that  the  conditions  should  be  such  in 
Canada  that  the  two  provinces  should  be  united, 
so  that  French  Canada  should  be  ruled  by  the 
stern  and  relentless  hand  of  an  English-speaking 
majority.  It  is  not  to  be  wondered  at  that  when 
the  report  was  made  known  in  Canada,  it  not 
only  caused,  as  I  have  said,  pained  surprise,  but 
produced  a  feeling  of  injustice  and  wrong.'1 

Equal  irritation  was  aroused  in  Upper  Canada 
by  the  publication  of  the  report,  as  will  be  seen  by 
the  Report  of  the  Select  Committee  of  the  House 
of  Assembly  of  the  Upper  Province,  which  was 
forwarded  by  Sir  George  Arthur  to  England  in 
May  1839.  Here  is  one  passage  referring  to  Lord 
Durham's  comments  on  the  methods  of  expenditure 
on  public  works  in  the  province. 

1  Quoted  from  the  Canadian  Hansard. 


'  There  is  something  so  offensive  and  unbecoming 
in  these  passages  of  the  report,  as  to  induce  the 
committee,  from  that  and  other  internal  evidence, 
to  believe  that  that  portion  of  it  which  relates  to 
Upper  Canada  was  not  written  by  and  never 
received  the  careful  revision  of  his  Lordship.'  l 

The  House  of  Assembly  and  its  committee  no 
doubt  represented  mainly  those  whom  Lord 
Durham  considered  to  be  the  Tories  of  Upper 
Canada,  and  the  passage  in  his  Report  which  they 
so  bitterly  resented  hardly  called  for  so  much 
resentment.  Still  the  Report  might  have  achieved 
its  purpose  without  giving  such  dire  offence.  Its 
great  breadth  of  view  might  have  been  more 
appreciated  at  the  time,  if  the  comments  had  been 
somewhat  more  carefully  worded  and  a  little  less 
unc  ompr  omising. 

This  breadth  of  view  might  be  illustrated  by 
quotations  on  almost  every  point  and  on  almost 
every  page,  but  it  will  be  enough  to  take  one 
point  only  and  to  note  the  strong  and  healthy 
Imperialism,  the  confidence  in  the  English  race, 
the  love  of  and  pride  in  the  British  Empire,  which 
is  really  the  keynote  of  the  Report,  and  which  was 
wholly  alien  to  the  ordinary  Whig  doctrines  and 
modes  of  thought  at  the  time  when  Lord  Durham 
went  to  Canada.  He  was  an  Imperialist  in  the 
best  sense.  He  believed  in  Libertas,  but  he  believed 
also  in  Imperium.  He  was  not  afraid  of  force,  if 
used  for  what  he  conceived  to  be  a  good  purpose. 
He  was  not  inclined  to  make  concessions,  merely 

1  Parliamentary  Paper  containing  copies  or  extracts  of  correspondence 
relating  to  the  affairs  of  Canada,  No.  289,  June,  1839,  p.  27. 


because  the  majority  asked  for  them,  but  only,  if 
they  were  sound  in  principle  and  likely  to  conduce 
to  future  greatness.  He  did  not  consider  that 
undoing,  or  at  the  most  giving  new  machinery, 
was  the  one  and  only  thing  needful.  The  bent  of 
his  mind  was  constructive,  and  he  would  not  be 
content  without  creating  something  greater  than 
before.  He  was  not  inclined  to  let  the  colonies  go 
hang.  He  believed  in  their  potential  value  to 
England,  and  in  a  future  for  England  and  for  them 
of  strength  and  partnership.  England  was  to  give 
them  freedom  and  security,  but  she  was  to  have 
something  in  return.  '  The  country  which  has 
founded  and  maintained  these  Colonies  at  a  vast 
expense  of  blood  and  treasure,  may  justly  expect 
its  compensation  in  turning  their  unappropriated 
resources  to  the  account  of  its  own  redundant 
population  ;  they  are  the  rightful  patrimony  of 
the  English  people,  the  ample  appanage  which 
God  and  Nature  have  set  aside  in  the  New  World 
for  those  whose  lot  has  assigned  them  but  in- 
sufficient portions  in  the  Old '  (ii.  13).  The 
marginal  note  to  this  fine  passage  is  '  Advantages 
derivable  by  the  Mother  country  from  these 
Colonies  '  ;  and  even  the  inaccuracy  which  may  be 
noted  in  it,  that  of  treating  French  Canada  as 
though  it  had  been  an  original  colony  of  Great- 
Britain,  bears  witness  to  the  same  breadth  of 
conception,  which  refused  to  look  upon  the 
province  of  Quebec  merely  as  a  conquered  depen- 
dency, the  home  of  an  alien  race,  and  persisted  in 
regarding  it  as  an  integral  part  of  the  British 
Empire.  Similarly  Lord  Durham's  scheme  for 


the  disposal  of  the  public  lands  in  the  British 
North  American  provinces  was  '  intended  to 
promote  the  common  advantage  of  the  Colonies, 
and  of  the  Mother  country '  (ii.  327)  ;  and  in  the 
same  spirit  Charles  Buller,  in  his  Report  on  Public 
Lands,  laid  stress  on  the  fact  that  the  subject  was 
one  of  Imperial  concern.  '  Higher  interests  than 
those  of  the  Colonies,  the  interests  of  the  Empire 
of  which  they  form  a  part,  demand  that  Parliament 
should  establish  at  once,  and  permanently,  a  well 
considered  and  uniform  system.  The  waste  lands 
of  the  Colonies  are  the  property,  not  merely  of 
the  Colony,  but  of  the  Empire,  and  ought  to  be 
administered  for  Imperial,  not  merely  for  Colonial, 
purposes '  (Appendix  B,  iii.  37). 

This  British  patriotism  and  Imperial  outlook, 
the  seeking  for  what  is  or  may  become  great  and 
broad,  and  strong,  runs  through  the  whole  report. 
The  French  Canadians  should  be  merged  in  an 
English  nationality  because  they  would  thereby 
become  an  integral  part  of  a  greater  community, 
and  have  a  goodlier  heritage.  '  It  is  to  elevate 
them  from  that  inferiority  that  I  desire  to  give 
to  the  Canadians  our  English  character'  (ii.  292). 
The  legislative  union  of  all  the  British  North 
American  provinces,  if  it  could  be  accomplished, 
'  would  form  a  great  and  powerful  people,  pos- 
sessing the  means  of  securing  good  and  respon- 
sible Government  for  itself,  and  which,  under 
the  protection  of  the  British  Empire,  might  in 
some  measure  counterbalance  the  preponderant 
and  increasing  influence  of  the  United  States  on 
the  American  continent '  (ii.  -309).  Responsible 


government  should  be  given  not  only  as  a  means 
to  popular  contentment,  but  also  as  making  for 
strength,  whereas  '  there  is  every  reason  to  believe 
that  a  professedly  irresponsible  Government  would 
be  the  weakest  that  could  be  devised '  (ii.  298). 
One  reason  given  for  the  union  of  the  two  Canadas 
is  that  '  the  full  establishment  of  responsible 
Government  can  only  be  permanently  secured  by 
\/  giving  these  Colonies  an  increased"  importance  in 
the  politics  of  the  Empire-!__(ii.  304)  ;  and  this 
permanence  of  self-government  in  a  strong  com- 
munity is  held  to  be  necessary  '  for  the  well- 
being  of  the  Colonies,  and  the  security  of  the 
Mother  country '  (ii.  285).  Any  danger  to  the 
•Imperial  connexion  from  making  the  colonies 
greater  and  stronger  is  scouted.  '  I  am,  in  truth, 
so  far  from  believing  that  the  increased  power  and 
weight  that  would  be  given  to  these  Colonies  by 
Union  would  endanger  their  connexion  with  the 
Empire,  that  I  look  to  it  as  the  only  means  of 
fostering  such  a  national  feeling  throughout  them 
as  would  effectually  counterbalance  whatever 
tendencies  may  now  exist  towards  separation ' 
(ii.  310).  By  enlarging  the  colonial  unit,  by 
widening  the  area  and  adding  to  the  population, 
by  endowing  with  responsibility,  greater  men  would 
be  produced,  new  and  wider  interests  would  be 
created ;  and  the  danger  of  Absorption  into  the 
United  States  would  be  met  '  by  raising  up  for 
the  North  American  colonist  some  nationality  of 
his  own,  by  elevating  these  small  and  unimportant 
communities  into  a  society  having  some  objects  of 
a  national  importance  '  (ii.  311).  The  spirit  which 


inspires  the  Report  is  indicated  by  the  concluding 
words,  in  which  Lord  Durham  records  his  '  earnest 
desire  to  perpetuate  and  strengthen  the  connexion    1 
between  this   Empire   and  the~  North  American  '» 
colonies,  which  would  then  form  one  of  the  brightest 
ornaments  in  your  Majesty's  Imperial  Crown '. 

In  the  debates  in  the  House  of  Lords  on  the 
Reunion  Bill,  in  the  summer  of  1840,  Lord  Melbourne 
took  exception  to  the  terms  of  the  Report.  '  There 
were  unquestionably  many  things  in  that  report 
which  he  did  not  praise,  and  which  he  did  not 
think  were  prudent  matters  to  be  brought  forward, 
and  which  he  thought  it  would  have  been  wiser 
to  have  omitted.' J  This  was  when  the  committee 
stage  was  reached  on  the  7th  of  July.  A  week 
earlier,  in  the  debate  on  the  second  reading, 
Brougham  had  declared  himself  in  favour  of  giving 
up  the  North  American  colonies,  and  so  had  Lord 
Ashburton.  Lord  Durham  was  too  outspoken  for 
the  Whig  Prime  Minister  :  he  was  a  better  and 
broader  Englishman  than  Brougham. 

In  dealing,  as  briefly  as  the  subject  permits, 
with  the  substance  of  Lord  Durham's  Report,  it 
is  proposed  to  notice  in  the  first  place  the  two,  \ 
main   recommendations    which   it   contains,   viz.  "y 

—  — '  *\ 

the  reunion  of  the  two  Canadas,  and  the  grant 
of  responsible  government :  then  to  take  the 
recommendations  made  under  the  following  heads  : 
public  lands,  emigration,  improvement  of  means 
of  communication,  municipalities,  administration 

1  Hansard,  1840,  vol.  Iv,  p.  515. 


of  justice,  and  education  ;  and  finally  to  consider 
the  passages  of  the  report  which  refer  to  a  future 
general  union  of  British  North  America,  those  in 
which  reference  is  made  to  the  United  States, 
and  those  which  embody  Lord  Durham's  views  on 
the  Colonial  Office,  and  on  colonial  administration 

Why  did  Lord  Durham  recommend  that  the 
two  Canadas  should  be  reunited,  and  what  form  of 
reunion  did  he  recommend  ?  He  recommended  that 
the  two  provinces  should  be  reunited,  first  and 
foremost,  because  under  existing  conditions  he 
considered  reunion  to  be  a  necessary  preliminary 
to  the  grant  of  responsible  government  ;  secondly, 
because  he  considered  that  reunion  would  result 
in  a  greater  and  a  stronger  whole,  with  more 
possibilities  for  the  future,  and  that  the  interests 
of  the  inhabitants  of  both  provinces,  especially 
of  the  French  Canadians,  demanded  reunion. 
The  form  of  reunion  which  he  recommended  was 

,    and    not   political    union 

only  but  a  complete^  amalgamation  of  peoples, 
races,  languages,  and  laws.  He  recommended,  as 
far  as  it  was  humanly  possible,  absolute  unity, 
easier  to  depict  on  paper  than  to  carry  out  into 

It  has  been  noted  that  the  Report  is  not  only  a 
special  report  upon  the  best  means  of  solving  the 
difficulties  which  had  actually  arisen  in  the  two 
Canadas,  but  also  in  part  an  essay  upon  colonial 
administration  in  general,  upon  the  advantages  to 

CHAP,  v     REUNION  OF  THE  TWO  CANADAS      125 

be  derived  from  giving  responsible  government  to 
British  colonies,  which  are  not  merely  foreign 
dependencies.  In  itself  the  principle  of  responsible 
government  was  of  wide  application.  Wherever 
the  majority  of  the  population  consisted  of  British 
citizens,  or  of  Europeans  who  had  been  trained  in 
British  citizenship,  and  had  enjoyed  some  measure  of 
British  institutions,  there  it  was,  in  Lord  Durham's 
view,  prima  facie,  good,  sound,  and  desirable 
that  self-government  within  certain  denned  limits 
should  be  established.  But  though  the  principle 
was  so  far  of  general  application,  the  application 
was  necessarily  subject  to  conditions  of  time  and 
place  ;  and  Lord  Durham  was  sent  out  primarily 
to  deal  with  a  particular  time  and  a  particular 
place.  The  particular  time  was  the  close  of  armed 
rebellion,  and  the  particular  place,  or  one  of  the  two 
particular  places,  was  a  province  which  adjoined 
the  American  Republic,  but  in  which  the  large 
majority  of  the  inhabitants  were  of  French 
descent.  Thus  Lord  Durham  set  before  himself, 
in  regard  to  Canada,  something  like  the  problem 
which  Aristotle  propounded  for  solution  in  the 
Politics.  He  set  himself  to  consider  in  the  first 
place,  what  is  the  best  constitution;  and  in  the 
second  place,  what  is  the  best  constitution,  given 
a  particular  set  of  conditions.  He  answered  the 
second  problem  not  so  much  by  departing  from 
his  model  constitution,  as  by  proposing  to  alter 
the  conditions  so  as  to  enable  the  model  con- 
stitution to  be  brought  into  being.  On  the  grant 
of  self-government  he  had  clearly  made  his  mind 
up  before  he  went  out  to  Canada.  After  arrival 


in  Canada,  when  brought  face  to  face  with  existing 
facts,  he  did  not  modify  his  theory  to  suit  the 
facts,  but  he  set  himself  to  modify  the  conditions 
in  order  to  make  the  theory  practicable.1 

Thus,  in  regard  to  Lower  and  Upper  Canada,  the 
two  main  recommendations  of  the  Report  are 
inseparably  connected  together.  He  recommended 
that  the  two  Canadas  should  be  reunited,  and  that 
to  the  single  province  thus  formed  responsible 
government  should  be  given.  He  commented 
most  strongly  upon  the  bad  effects  produced  by 
the  want  of  responsible  government  in  Lower 
Canada,  but  he  did  not  recommend  that  under 
existing  conditions,  Lower  Canada,  as  it  stood, 
should  be  endowed  with  responsible  government. 
He  became  convinced,  when  on  the  spot,  that  the 
root  cause  of  the  evils  in  French  Canada  was  not 
to  be  found  in  the  constitution,  though  the  defects 
of  the  constitution  had  aggravated  the  evils.  He 
traced  the  mischief  ultimately  to  race  antipathy 
<and  race  conflict ;  and,  therefore,  he  considered 
it  to  be  a  necessary  preliminary  to  the  jjrant  of 
responsible  government  to  French  -Cana4a_tliat 
/  in  the  legislature,  to  which  the  new  and  wider 
powers  should  be  given,  a.British  majority  should 
be  assured.  '  The  fatal  feud  of  origin,  which  is  the 
cause  of  the  most  extensive  mischief,  would  be 
aggravated  at  the  present  moment  by  any  change 
which  should  give  the  majority  more  power  than 

1  From  the  Life  of  Sir  John  Beverley  Robinson,  pp.  243-4,  it  \\ould 
seem  that  Lord  Durham  was  opposed  to  the  Union  of  the  two  Canadas 
during  his  whole  stay  in  Canada.  He  tells  us  himself  in  the  Report 
(ii.  304)  that  on  his  first  arrival  in  Canada  he  was  inclined  to  a  general 
federation  of  the  provinces  of  British  North  America. 

CHAP,  v     REUNION  OF  THE  TWO  CANADAS      127 

they  have  hitherto  possessed.  A  plan  by  which 
it  is  proposed  to  ensure  the  tranquil  government 
of  Lower  Canada,  must  include  in  itself  the  means 
of  putting  an  end  to  the  agitation  of  national 
disputes  in  the  legislature,  by  settling,  at  once  and 
for  ever,  the  national  character  of  the  province. 
I  entertain  no  doubts  as  to  the  national  character 
which  must  be  given  to  Lower  Canada  ;  it  must  be 
that  of  the  British  Empire  '  (ii.  288). 

The  first  part  of  the  Report,  which  deals  with 
Lower    Canada,     begins    with     Lord     Durham's 
statement    that    he    himself,    and  most  men  in 
England,  had  wholly  misapprehended  '  the  parties 
at  issue  in  Lower  Canada  '  ;  that  he  had  been  sent 
out  to  heal  a  quarrel  between  the  Executive  and 
the  popular  branch  of  the  Legislature,  and  found 
a  deeper  seated  cause  of  strife.     '  I  expected,'  he 
writes  in  of  ten- quo  ted  terms,  '  to  find  a  contest 
between  a  government  and  a  people  :    I  found 
two  nations  warring,   in  the  bosom  of   a  single 
state  :   I  found  a  struggle,  not  of  principles,  but  of 
races  '  (ii.  16).    Lord  Durham  probably  somewhat 
exaggerated  the  strength  of  the  race  antipathy, 
but  that  it  existed  was  undeniable,  and  it  is  some- 
what difficult  to  understand  why  there  should  have 
been  any  misconception  on  the  point.     The  contro- 
versies in  Lower  Canada  for  thirty  years  past  had 
borne   the   impress   of   antagonism   between   the 
French  and  British  races,  growing  in  intensity  as 
the  years  went  on.    As  far  back  as  1810  Sir  James 
Craig  had  borne  the  strongest  witness  to  the  strength 
of  the  race  feeling  in  the  province,  and  this  feeling 
had    been    constantly    in    evidence    ever    since. 


Papineau  had  denounced  the  abortive  Reunion 
Bill  of  1822  as  an  attempt  to  Anglify  French 
Canada,  and  the  records  of  subsequent  committees 
and  commissions  abundantly  testified  to  the 
division  of  races  in  Lower  Canada.  It  was  well 
known  that  the  Seigniories  were  French  Lower 
Canada,  and  the  Townships,  English  Lower 
Canada ;  that  the  Legislative  Council  represented 
the  British  community,  and  the  Assembly  more 
especially  the  French  ;  while  the  last  enclosure 
in  Appendix  A  to  the  Report  is  '  An  Address  from 
the  Constitutional  Association  of  Montreal  to  the 
inhabitants  of  British  America ',  denouncing  in 
the  strongest  terms  the  evil  influence  of  French 
domination  in  Lower  Canada,  and  calling  for  union 
of  the  provinces  in  order  to  secure  a  British 
majority.  This  address  is  dated  January  1836, 
and  was,  therefore,  issued  more  than  two  years 
before  Lord  Durham  went  to  Canada.  How 
then,  it  may  be  asked,  can  there  have  been  any 
doubt  whatever  that  the  troubles!  in  Lower  Canada 
were  mainly  due  to  race  ? 

The  explanation  seems  to  be  in  the  first  place 
that,  as  has  been  pointed  out,  individual  men  of 
British  birth,  such  as  the  brothers  Nelson,  were 
prominent  among  the  popular  party  to  the  end, 
and  took  a  leading  part  in  the  rising  in  Lower 
Canada.  Their  prominence  and  leadership  tended 
to  obscure  to  onlookers  the  line»  of  race.  In  the 
second  place,  that  Lord  Durham,  broad-minded  as 
he  was,  had  been  a  strong  party  man ;  that, 
before  he  went  out  to  Canada  and  faced  the  facts, 
he  had  formed  an  a  priori  view  of  the  situation, 

CHAP,  v     REUNION  OF  THE  TWO  CANADAS      129 

based  on  his  party  creed;  that,  as  one  of  the 
authors  of  the  great  Reform  Bill,  he  had,  while 
in  England,  an  intense  belief  in  the  efficacy  of 
constitutional  reform,  and  had  not  contemplated 
the  possibility  of  conditions  for  which  it  would 
not  be  an  adequate  remedy.  Such  would  no  doubt 
have  been  the  view  of  the  Whig  Government,  and 
of  the  friends  and  advisers  with  whom  he  would 
have  taken  counsel.  But  he  was  man  enough, 
after  he  reached  Canada,  to  recognize  that  con- 
stitutional reform  alone  would  not  meet  the  case 
of  the  Lower  Province,  that  the  evil  was  more 
deeply  seated  and  required  a  more  drastic  remedy. 
'  At  the  root  of  the  disorders  of  Lower  Canada,' 
he  writes  in  the  Report,  '  lies  the  conflict  of  the  two 
races,  which  compose  its  population  ;  until  this 
is  settled,  no  good  government  is  practicable  ' 
(ii.  72)  ;  and  again,  '  Though  I  have  mentioned  the 
conduct  and  constitution  of  the  Colonial  govern- 
ment as  modifying  the  character  of  the  struggle, 
I  have  not  attributed  to  political  causes  a  state 
of  things  which  would,  I  believe,  under  any 
political  institutions,  have  resulted  from  the  very 
composition  of  society  '  (ii.  63). 

How  far  Lord  Durham  formed  a  correct  estimate 
of  the  French  Canadian  problem  will  be  discussed 
later.  At  present  we  are  simply  concerned  with 
the  substance  of  his  Report.  He  recommended  in 
the  plainest  and  most  uncompromising  terms  the 
gradual  extinction  of  the  French  Canadian  nation- 
ality, the  Ajjglifying  ofLower^Caiiada.  '  I  repeat 
that  the  alteration  oTthe  character  of  the  province 
ought  to  be  immediately  entered  on,  and  firmly, 



though  cautiously,  followed  up  ;  that  in  any  plan 
which  may  be  adopted  for  the  future  management 
of  Lower  Canada,  the  first  object  ought  to  be  that 
of  making  it  an  English  province  ;  and  that,  with 
this  end  in  view,  the  ascendancy  should  never 
again  be  placed  in  any  hands  but  those  of  an 
English  population '  (ii.  295,  296).  This  was  the 
recommendation  of  the  most  advanced  Liberal 
among  the  leading  English  politicians  of  the  day, 
the  man  who  was  most  heartwhole  in  the  cause  of 
democracy.  At  first  sight  it  seems  curiously  at 
variance  with  Liberalism,  especially  as  Liberalism 
has  been  interpreted  in  later  days.  But  Lord 
Durham,  as  has  been  seen,  had  a  strong  Imperial 
strain  in  his  character ;  and  moreover,  had  he  been 
challenged  as  sinning  against  Liberal  principles, 
his  Report  contained  ample  materials  for  reply. 
For  he  had  contended  earlier  in  the  Report  with 
great  force  that  the  English  minority  in  Lower 
Canada  represented  progress  and  reform,  while 
the  French  majority  stood  for  unenlightened  Con- 
servatism. He  was  fully  determined  to  entrust 
the  internal  fortunes  of  Canada  to  the  will  of  the 
majority  of  the  population,  and  his  thesis  was 
that  there  was  one  way,  and  one  only,  to  carry  out 
this  great  Liberal  measure  with  safety  and  with 
the  prospect  of  permanence,  and  that  was  to  ensure 
that  the  majority  should  be  a  British  majority. 
He  wanted  to  give,  and  he  determined  to  give, 
responsible  government.  Willing  the  end,  he  also 
willed  the  means.  '  It  is  only  by  the  same  means, 
by  a  popular  government,  in  which  an  English 
majority  shall  permanently  predominate,  that 

CHAP,  v     REUNION  OF  THE  TWO  CANADAS      131 

Lower  Canada,  if  a  remedy  for  its  disorders  be  not 
too  long  delayed,  can  be  tranquilly  ruled.  On  these 
grounds,  I  believe  that  no  permanent  or  efficient 
remedy  can  be  devised  for  the  disorders  of  Lower 
Canada,  except  a  fusion  of  the  government  in  that  of 
one  or  more  of  the  surrounding  provinces  '  (ii.  303). 
Further,  we  have  seen  that  it  was  not  only  as  a 
necessary  preliminary  to  the  grant  of  responsible 
government  that  he  recommended  the  union  of  the 
two  provinces.  He  recommended  it  also  on  its 
merits,  in  order  to  make  a  greater  and  a  worthier 
whole. '  The  permanent  interests  of  the  French 
Canadians,  like  the  permanent  interests  of  the  old 
French  Colony  of  Louisiana,  would  be  promoted  by 
merging  the  more  conservative  race  in  the  popula- 
tion which  had  the  keeping  of  the  future,  instead 
of  gratifying  '  some  idle  and  narrow  notion  of 
a  petty  and  visionary  nationality '  (ii.  265)  ;  Upper 
Canada  would  gain  by  being  given  access  to  the 
sea  ;  and  the  citizens  of  both  provinces  would  gain 
by  co-operation  for  common  purposes,  by  calling 
into  existence  new  and  common  interests,  *  by 
raising  up  for  the  North  American  colonist  some 
nationality  of  his  own  '  (ii.  311).  To  achieve  such 
a  great  end  Lord  Durham  was  not  afraid  to  recom- 
mend drastic  measures.  It  may  well  be  that  Buller 
had  a  large  share  in  forming  his  views,  and  in 
enunciating  them  in  such  clear  and  forcible  terms  ; 
and  Buller,  it  will  be  borne  in  mind,  was  a  pupil 
of  Carlyle.  There  is  a  strong  savour  of  Carlyle  in 
the  attitude  which  the  Report  adopts  towards  the 
French  Canadian  nationality.  There  is  no  Whig- 
gism  whatever  in  it,  no  trace  of  laissez-faire. 

K  2 


Lord  Durham  was  a  democrat  after  the  type  of 
Cromwell,  and  few  state  documents  ever  embodied 
so  strong  a  policy  as  is  contained  in  his  Report. 

He  had  originally  contemplated  federation  only, 
not  union ;  and  federation  of  all  the  provinces,  not 
of  the  two  Canadas  merely.  He  came  to  the  ultimate 
conclusion  that  union  was  preferable  to  federation, 
for  the  reason  already  given,  that  thereby  the 
French  Canadians  would  no  longer  retain  their 
individuality  and  their  isolation,  and  would  be 
merged  in  an  English  nationality.  He  would  have 
preferred  that  the  union  should  from  the  first 
include  all  British  North  America,  but,  under  the 
conditions  of  the  moment,  he  thought,  it  better 
V  to  Confine  it  to  the  two  Caiiadas^wlucl^herrujaited 
i^would  be  the  nucleus  for  further  union.  He  was 
combining  what  he  considered  to  be  ideally  best 
with  what  the  time  and  the  place  demanded,  but 
never  losing  sight_of_the  conception  of  a  single 
self-governing  British.  North-  America.  The  union 
of  the  two  Canadas,  it  must  be  repeated,  was 
to  be  no  half  union,  no  'mere  amalgamation  of 
the  Houses  of  Assembly  of  the  two  Provinces ' 
(ii.  323),  such  as  had  been  attempted  in  1822,  and 
was  subsequently  carried  out ;  much  less  was  it  to 
be  merely  some  shadowy 'joint  legislative  authority, 
which  should  preside  over  all  questions  of  common 
interest  to  the  two  provinces,  and  which  might  be 
appealed  to  in  extraordinary  cases  to  arbitrate 
between  contending  parties  in  either ',  such  as 
Lord  Glenelg  had  tentatively  suggested  in  his 
instructions.1  All  was  to  be  one  ;  the  separate 

1  Dispatch  of  January  20,  1838. 

CHAP,  v     REUNION  OF  THE  TWO  CANADAS      133 

laws  and  institutions,  the  separate  language, 
everything,  except  the  religion,  which  marked  the 
French  Canadian  nationality,  and  which  led  Papi- 
neau  and  his  followers  to  dream  and  talk  of 
a  Canadian  nation,  was  to  be  gradually  but  com- 
pletely submerged. 

He  laid  great  stress  upon  the  evils  produced  by 
difference  of  language.  '  The  difference  of  language 
from  the  first  kept  them  [the  two  races]  asunder  ' 
(ii.  38).  '  The  difference  of  language  produces  mis- 
conceptions yet  more  fatal  even  than  those  which 
it  occasions  with  respect  to  opinions  ;  it  aggravates 
the  national  animosities,  by  representing  all  the 
events  of  the  day  in  utterly  different  lights '  (ii.  40). 
Similar  views  had  been  held  years  before  by  Lord 
Dalhousie,  who  wrote  that  the  use  of  two  languages 
nourished  prejudice  and  separation  of  feelings 
between  the  two  classes  of  people.  Lord  Durham 
would  not  have  summarily  proscribed  the  French 
language  in  Lower  Canada,  but  it  was  an  integral 
part  of  his  policy  steadily  to  substitute  EngHsK 
for  French,  until  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  province 
should  be  English  speaking  and  English  reading 
citizens  of  the  Empire.  *  A  considerable  time  must, 
of  course,  elapse  before  the  change  of  a  language 
can  spread  over  a  whole  people ;  and  justice  and 
policy  alike  require  that,  while  the  people  continue 
to  use  the  French  language,  their  government 
should  take  no  such  means  to  force  the  English 
language  upon  them  as  would,  in  fact,  deprive  the 
great  mass  of  the  community  of  the  protection  of 
the  laws.  But  I  repeat  that  the  alteration  of  the 
character  of  the  province  ought  to  be  immediately 


entered  on  and  firmly,  though  cautiously,  followed 
up '  (ii.  296).  '  Until  Canada  is  nationalized  and 
Anglified,'  wrote  the  Commissioner  of  Enquiry  into 
the  State  of  Education  in  Lower  Canada,  '  it  is 
idle  for  England  to  be  devising  schemes  for  her 
improvement '  (Appendix  D,  iii.  273).  Obviously 
the  substitution  of  the  English  language  for  the 
French  was  absolutely  essential,  if  Lord  Durham's 
policy  was  to  be  carried  out. 

In   discussing   the   disadvantages   arising   to   a 
Dependency  from  its  dependence  on  the  Dominant 
Country,  Cornewall  Lewis,  in  the  Government  of 
Dependencies,1  comments  upon  the   inexpediency 
of  attempting  to  make  a  sudden  change  in  the 
language   of   the   dependent    people,    and    quotes 
the  case  of  the  attempt  made  by  Joseph  II  to 
impose  the  German  language  on  Hungary.     He 
also  notes  '  that  the  use  of  a  common  language  is 
consistent    with    the    existence    of    the    strongest 
antipathies  between  different  communities  '.     But 
Lord  Durham  did  not  advocate  a  sudden  change  ; 
on  the  contrary,  in  the  passage  which  has  been  just 
quoted,  he  expressly  laid  down  that  the  process 
must  be  gradual,   and  he   advocated  change   of 
language  in  order  to  raise  a  particular  dependency 
from  the  status  of  dependence  to  that  of  self- 
government.      This  question  of  difference  of  lan- 
guage has  through  the  years  complicated  the  task 
of  England  in  working  out  her  Imperial  system, 
but  probably  most  thinking  men  would  agree  that, 
while  community  of  language  would  be  best  if 
it  were  practicable,  at  any  given  time  or  place, 

1  1891  ed.,  chap,  ix,  pp.  267-9,  and  note  N. 

CHAP,  v     REUNION  OF  THE  TWO  CANADAS      135 

whether  in  Canada  or  in  South  Africa,  the  only 
policy  which  is  practically  possible,  and  which  is 
consistent  with  British  traditions  and  instincts,  is 
to  let  the  different  languages  run  their  course  side 
by  side.1 

1  See  on  this  question  of  language  Lord  Cromer's  Ancient  and  Modern 
Imperialism  (1910) ;  he  refers  to  the  question  in  South  Africa  en  p.  103  ; 
his  essay,  however,  deals  not  with  the  self-governing  dominions  of 
Great  Britain  but  with  her  dependencies  ;  and  with  special  reference 
to  the  coloured  races,  he  gives  his  view  (p.  107)  that  '  language  is  not, 
and  never  can  be,  as  in  the  case  of  ancient  Rome,  an  important  factor 
in  the  execution  of  a  policy  of  fusion.  Indeed,  in  some  ways,  it  rather 
tends  to  disruption,  inasmuch  as  it  furnishes  the  subject  races  with 
a  very  powerful  arm  against  their  alien  rulers  '. 

On  the  other  hand,  Lord  Morley  in  an  address  to  the  English  Associa- 
tion on  January  27.  1911,  spoke  of  the  spread  of  the  English  language 
in  India  as  a  '  unifying  agent ' : 

'  I  called  English  the  most  widespread  of  living  tongues.  Surely  not 
the  least  stupendous  fact  in  our  British  annals  is  the  conquest  of  a 
boundless  area  of  the  habitable  globe  by  our  English  language.  There 
is  no  parallel.  You  have  been  told  here,  I  see,  that  Arabic  is  or  has 
been  our  rival.  This  is  a  proposition  that  needs  far  deeper  limitations 
and  qualifications  than  I  can  either  set  forth  or  examine.  Arabic 
scholars  assure  me  that  though  Arabic  in  Islamic  lands  for  some  three 
or  four  centuries  became  the  medium  for  an  active  propagation  of  ideas, 
and  though  by  the  Koran  it  retains  its  hold  in  its  own  area,  and  keeps 
in  its  literary  as  distinct  from  its  spoken  form  the  stamp  of  thirteen 
centuries  ago,  yet  there  is  no  real  analogy  or  comparison  with  the 
diffusion  of  English.  Latin  is  a  better  analogy.  Latin  was  universally 
spoken  pretty  early  in  Gaul,  Britain,  Spain,  and  somewhat  later  in  the 
provinces  on  the  Danube.  In  the  East  it  spread  more  slowly,  but  by 
the  Antonines  and  onwards  the  spread  of  Latin  was  pretty  complete, 
even  in  Africa.  Greek  was  common  throughout  the  empire  as  the  lan- 
guage of  commerce  in  the  fourth  century.  St.  Augustine  tells  us  that 
pains  were  taken  that  the  Imperial  state  should  impose  not  only  its 
political  yoke  but  its  own'tongue  upon  the  conquered  peoples,  per  pacem 
societatis.  This  is  what,  among  other  things,  is  slowly  coming  to  pass 
in  India.  Though  to-day  only  a  handful,  a  million  or  so,  of  the  popula- 
tion use  our  language,  yet  English  must  inevitably  spread  from  being 
an  official  tongue  to  be  a  general  unifying  agent.  An  Englishman  who 
adds  to  the  glory  of  our  language  and  letters  will  deserve  Caesar's  grard 
compliment  to  Cicero,  declaring  it  a  better  claim  to  a  laurel  crown  to 


South  Africa  is  the  latest  case  in  which  this 
particular  question  has  given  trouble,  and  in 
reference  to  this  and  other  points,  it  is  interesting 
to  read  Lord  Durham's  Report  in  the  light  of  what 
has  taken  place  in  South  Africa.  His  views  no 
doubt  would  have  been  modified,  and  might  have 
been  entirely  reversed,  in  the  light  of  later  experi- 
ence, and  no  two  sets  of  conditions  in  history  are 
wholly  alike.  It  would  not  have  been  possible  to 
rearrange  South  Africa  so  as  to  secure  a  British 
majority  over  the  Dutch ;  and  the  native  problem 
and  many  others  differentiate  the  case  of  South 
Africa  from  that  of  Canada.  Still  it  should  be  noted 
that,  while  Lord  Durham's  Report  was  after  the 
South  African  war  freely  used  to  support  the  case 
of  giving  responsible  government  to  the  conquered 
territories  in  South  Africa,  the  all-important  fact 
was  rather  left  out  of  sight  that  this  advanced 
democrat,  this  father  of  the  system  of  colonial 
self-government,  in  dealing  with  a  province  in 
which  there  had  been  only  a  contemptible  rising 
and  not  a  life  and  death  struggle,  in  which  the 
non-British  majority  had  lived  and  thrived  not 
under  republican  institutions  but  under  British 
rule,  laid  down  as  a  sine  qua  non  for  giving 
responsible  government  that  a  British  majority 
should  be  permanently  assured. 

have  advanced  the  boundaries  of  Roman  genius  than  the  boundaries  of 
Roman  rule.  Whether  Julius  was  sincere  or  insincere,  it  is  a  noble 
truth  for  us  as  well  as  for  old  Rome.'—'  Lord  Morley's  Address  to  the 
English  Association  ',  Times,  Jan.  28,  1911. 



To  the  two  Canadas,  made  into  one  ;  to  all  the 
other  British  North  American  provinces,  as  they 
stood,  and  when  in  years'  to  come  they  should  be 
united  to  the  already  united  Canadian  province, 
Lord  Durham  recommended  that  responsible 
government  should  be  given.  What  did  he  mean 
by  responsible  government  ?  What  objections 
were  raised  to  it  by  British  statesmen  at  the  time  ? 
and  what  limits  or  conditions  did  Lord  Durham 
assign  to  it  ? 

On  the  14th  of  May  1829  Mr.  Stanley  (afterwards 
Earl  of  Derby)  presented  to  the  House  of  Commons 
a  petition  which  had  been  agreed  to  at  a  meeting 
held  at  Yorktown  (Toronto),  and  signed  by  2,110 
inhabitants  of  Upper  Canada.  According  to 
Stanley's  speech  in  presenting  the  petition,  it 
asked,  among  other  points,  for  '  a  local  responsible 
ministry  '.  This  is  commonly  held  to  be  the  first 
mention  of  the  term  responsible  government,  which 
subsequently  became  so  familiar.  In  itself  it  is 
a  somewhat  vague  phrase,  and  in  some  passages  of 
his  Report  Lord  Durham  uses  general  terms  in 
referring  to  it.  Thus  he  says  that  the  grant  of 
responsible  government  would  be  '  a  change  which 
would  amount  simply  to  this,  that  the  Crown  would 
henceforth  consult  the  wishes  of  the  people  in  the 
choice  of  its  servants '  (ii.  285)  ;  but  in  other 
passages  he  makes  it  perfectly  clear  that  he  con- 
sidered the  essence  of  responsible  government  to 
be  that  the  executive  officers  should  be  subordinate 
to  the  Legislature.  '  The  wisdom  of  adopting  the 


true  principle  of  representative  government,  and 
facilitating  the  management  of  public__affairs,  by 
entrusting  it  to  the  persons^wfto]Have^he  confidence 
of  the  representative  body,  has  never  been  recog- 
nized in  the  government  of  the  North  American 
colonies.  All  the  officers  of  government  were  inde- 
pendent of  the  Assembly  T"(ii.  77).  By  responsible 
government^  then,  he  meantpand  all  in  England 
and  Canada  who  used  the  phrase  and  discussed  it 
meant,  constitutional  government  in  the  accepted 
English  sense,  as  constitutional  government  had 
been  known  and  practised  in  England  for  genera- 
tions. He  meant  a  political  system  in  which  the 
Executive  is  directly  *nd  \mme>.(\\>]y  responsible 

to  the  Legislature,  in  which  the  ministers  are 
members  of  the  Legislature,  chosen  from  the  party 
which  includes  the  majority  of  the  elected  repre- 
sjentatives  of  the  people.  He  meant  a  British 
system,  and  therefore  he  would  entrust  its  working 
only  to  a  British  majority. 

The  Act  of  1791  had  given  to  either  of  the  two 
Canadas  representative  institutions  without  respon- 
sible government.  It  had  embodied,  to  use  Lord 
Durham's  somewhat  exaggerated  words,  '  the  com- 
bining of  apparently  popular  institutions  with  an 
utter  absence  of  all  efficient  control  of  the  people 
over  their  rulers  '  (ii.  74).  To  Lord  Durham,  as 
a  student  of  English  history,  as  an  heir  of  English 
traditions,  as  a  foremost  fighter  in  the  democratic 
ranks,  as  England  understood  democracy,  repre- 
sentative institutions  without  responsible  govern- 
ment were  a  monstrosity,  a  contradiction  in  terms. 
4  It  is  difficult  to  understand  how  any  English 


statesmen  could  have  imagined  that  representative 
and  irresponsible  government  could  be  successfully 
combined  '  (ii.  79).  '  From  the  commencement^ 
therefore,  to  the  end  of  the  disputes  which  mark 
the  whole  Parliamentary  history  of  Lower  Canada, 
I  look  on  the  conduct  of  the  Assembly  as  a  constant 
warfare  with  the  Executive,  for  the  purpose  of; 
obtaining  the  powers  inherent  in  a  representative 
body  by  the  very  nature  of  representative  govern- 
ment '  (ii.  83,  84). 

Now  it  will  be  noted  that  in  his  Report  Lord 
Durham  continually  contrasts  the  condition  of  the 
two  Canadas  with  that  of  the  United  States,  and 
attributes  the  greater  prosperity,  which  was  in 
evidence  in  the  United  States,  in  part  to  the  fact 
that  the  citizens  of  the  American  republic  lived 
'  under  a  perfectly  free  and  eminently  responsible 
government'  (ii.  261). x  Moreover,  in  one  passage  he 
lays  down  that  '  this  entire  separation  of  the  legis- 
lative and  executive  powers  of  a  state  is  the  natural 
error  of  Governments  desirous  of  being  free  from 
the  check  of  representative  institutions  '  (ii.  79). 
He  never  seems  to  have  realized,  or  at  any  rate  he 
ignores,  the  vital  difference  between  the  British 
and  the  American  constitutions,  that  in  the  former 
the  Executive  is,  to  use  Professor  Dicey 's  terms,2 

1  On  the  other  hand,  Lord  Durham  says  (ii.   331),  '  The  warmest 
admirers,  and  the  strongest  opponents  of  republican  institutions,  admit 
or  assert  that  the  amazing  prosperity  of  the  United  States  is  less  owing 
to  their  form  of  government,  than  to  the  unlimited  supply  of  fertile  land.' 

2  The  Law  of  the  Constitution,  sixth  ed.,  1902,  Appendix,  note  3, 
on  the  '  Distinction  between  a  parliamentary  executive  and  a  non- 
parliamentary  executive '.     Professor  Dicey  points  out  (p.  432)  that 
'  the  strong  point  of  a  non-parliamentary  executive  is  its  comparative 
independence '      On  this  subject  see  Mr.  Bryce's  American  Common- 


parliamentary,  and  in  the  latter  non-parliamentary, 
that  the  American  constitution  is  an  instance  of  the 
successful  combination  of  representative  and  (in 
the  English  sense)  irresponsible  government ;  while 
his  statement,  that  the  separation  of  the  legislative 
and  executive  powers  of  a  state  is  an  error  due  to 
the  desire  to  be  free  from  the  check  of  representa- 
tive institutions,  is  amazing  in  face  of  the  fact 
that  this  separation  had  been  originally  recom- 
mended by  political  thinkers,  and  carried  into 
effect  in  America  and  in  France,  as  a  supposed 
security  against  arbitrary  government,  as  an  indis- 
pensable guarantee  of  a  free  constitution.1 

In  the  United  States  the  people  elect  the  Presi- 
dent ;  but,  during  the  President's  term  of  office, 
the  executive  officers  whom  he  appoints,  though 
they  belong  to  the  party  to  which  he  belongs,  and 
therefore  are  so  far  in  harmony  with  the  wishes  of 
the  majority  of  the  electors,  are,  like  the  President 
himself,  not  members  either  of  the  Senate  or  of 

wealth.  He  writes :  '  There  exists  between  England  and  the  United 
States  a  difference  which  is  full  of  interest.  In  England  the  legislative 
branch  has  become  supreme,  and  it  is  considered  by  Englishmen  a  merit 
in  their  system  that  the  practical  executive  of  the  country  is  directly 
responsible  to  the  House  of  Commons.  In  the  United  States,  however, 
not  only  in  the  national  government,  but  in  every  one  of  the  states,  the 
exact  opposite  theory  is  proceeded  upon — that  the  executive  should 
be  wholly  independent  of  the  legislative  branch'  (1888  ed.,  vol.  i, 
pp.  385-6). 

1  See  on  this  point  Cornewall  Lewis's  Government  of  Dependencies, 
Preliminary  Inquiry,  1891  ed.,  p.  41,  &c.  Locke,  Montesquieu,  Paley, 
&c.,  supported  this  theory  of  the  separation  of  the  legislative  and 
executive  powers,  and  Cornewall  Lewis  says  that  it '  became  in  the  last 
(the  eighteenth)  century  a  sort  of  political  axiom  which  every  one 
supposed  himself  to  understand,  and  which  no  one  thought  of  ques- 
tioning '. 


the  House  of  Representatives,  but  are  wholly 
independent  of  and  in  no  sense  responsible  directly 
or  indirectly  to  the  Legislature.  Thus  Lord 
Durham,  on  the  one  hand,  insisted  upon  the 
vital  necessity  of  responsible  government  as 
Englishmen  understood  it,  and,  on  the  other,  held 
up  as  a  model  a  country  in  which  the  system  of 
responsible  government  in  the  English  sense  did 
not  and  does  not  exist.  He  would  no  doubt  have 
contended,  if  challenged  on  the  point,  that  the 
two  cases  of  Great  Britain  and  the  United  States 
were  and  are  entirely  differentiated  by  the  existence 
of  the  Crown  in  the  one  case  and  of  the  elected 
President  in  the  other,1  and  it  is  very  noteworthy 
what  importance  this  advanced  Liberal  attached 
to  'the  stable  authority  of  an  hereditary  monarchy' 
(ii.  263) ;  but  it  is  a  weakness  in  the  Report  that, 
with  its  constant  references  to  the  United  States, 
it  does  not  seem  to  appreciate  that  the  political 
system  existing  in  the  country,  which  bordered  on 
Canada  and  which  had  been  colonized  from  Great 
Britain,  was  not  an  accurate  illustration  of  his  theory 
of  responsible  government  as  embodying  the  one 
vital  principle  of  a  Parliamentary  Executive.  Why 
did  the  author  of  the  Report  not  appreciate  the 
difference  between  the  two  cases  ?  Because  he 

1  This  is  clearly  pointed  out  by  Merivale  in  the  Appendix,  written 
in  1861,  to  No.  XXII  of  his  Lectures  on  Colonisation  and  the  Colonies. 
Speaking  of  the  American  system  of  a  non-parliamentary  executive, 
he  says,  '  Not  to  speak  of  other  objections  to  this  system,  it  is  clearly 
incompatible  with  colonial  institutions  under  a  Governor  appointed  by 
the  Crown.  His  ministers  would  be  ministers  of  the  Crown,  and 
antagonistic,  or  so  considered,  to  the  community  and  legislature.  It 
might  work  if  governors  were  elected  by  the  people,  as  is  the  American 
President '  (p.  650). 

142  BRITISH   XOHTII    AMERICA          IN  TROD. 

was  intensely  British,  because  he  could  not  con- 
ceive of  liberties  for  white  men  in  lands  under 
the  British  Crown  without  British  Parliamentary 
government.  The  citizens  were  to  be  made 
British,  if  not  -British  already  ;  their  institutions 
were  to  be  those,  and  those  only,  which  he  had 
known  in  Great  Britain  and  helped  so  largely  to 

As  he  understood  responsible  government- 
government  with  a  Parliamentary  Executive  —  so 
other  English  statesmen  of  the  time  understood  it. 
What  were  the  objections  which  they  took  to  it  ? 
The  objections  all  resolved  themselves  into  the  one 
main  contention  that  men  cannot  serve  two  masters. 
How,  it  was  argued,  is  it  possible  to  hWe  divided 
responsibility  ?  If  the  Executive  is  responsible  to 
the  Colonial  Legislature,  it  cannot  be  responsible  to 
the  Imperial  Parliament  ;  wRereas4t  ^was  assumed 

that,  if  a  colony  was  to  remain  part  of  the  British 
Empire,  its  administration  must  be  responsible  to 
the  Imperial  advisers  of  the  Crown  and  to  the 
Imperial  Parliament.  Thus  Lord  Glenelg  con- 
tended, in  his  Instructions  to  Sir  Francis  Bond 

1  Lord  Durham's  son-in-law,  Lord  Elgin,  thoroughly  understood  the 
difference  between  the  British  and  American  systems.  Writing  to 
Lord  Grey  from  Canada  on  November  1,  1850,  he  says  :  '  The  faithful 
carrying  out  of  the  principles  of  constitutional  government  is  a  departure 
from  the  American  model,  not  an  approximation  to  it.  ...  The  fact  is 
that  the  American  system  is  our  old  colonial  system  with,  in  certain 
cases,  the  principle  of  popular  election  substituted  for  that  of  nomina- 
tion by  the  Crown.  Mr.  Fillmore  stands  to  his  Congress  very  much  in 
the  same  relation  in  which  I  stood  to  my  Assembly  in  Jamaica.  There 
is  the  same  absence  of  effective  responsibility  in  the  conduct  of  legisla- 
tion, the  same  want  of  concurrent  action  between  the  parts  of  the 
political  machine  '.  —  Canadian  Constitutional  Development  (Egerton  and 
Grant),  p.  327. 


Head,  dated  the  5th  of  December  1835,1  that 
the  existing  system  in  Upper  Canada,  if  properly 
worked,  was  already  responsible  government,  only 
the  responsibility  lay  to  the  Home  authorities. 

'  Experience  would  seem  to  prove  that  the 
administration  of  public  affairs  in  Canada  is  by 
no  means  exempt  from  the  control  of  a  practical 
responsibility.  To  His  Majesty  and  to  Parliament 
the  Governor  of  Upper  Canada  is  at  all  times  most 
fully  responsible  for  his  official  acts.  .  .  This 
responsibility  to  His  Majesty  and  to  Parliament  is 
second  to  none  which  can  be  imposed  on  a  public 
man,  and  it  is  one  which  it  is  in  the  power  of  the 
House  of  Assembly  at  any  time,  by  address  or 
petition,  to  bring  into  active  operation.' 

It  has  been  seen  that  in  March  1837  the  House 
of  Commons  passed  a  series  of  resolutions,  one  of 
which  was  in  the  following  terms  :  '  That  while  it 
is  expedient  to  improve  the  composition  of  the 
Executive  Council  in  Lower  Canada,  it  is  unad- 
visable  to  subject  it  to  the  responsibility  demanded 
by  the  House  of  Assembly  of  that  province.' 
Speaking  in  support  of  this  resolution,  Lord  John 
Russell  said  that  the  Assembly  demanded  that 
'  the  executive  council  should  be  a  responsible 
council  similar  to  the  cabinet  in  this  country  ',  and 
his  comment  was  : 

'  I  hold  this  proposition  to  be  entirely  incom- 
patible with  the  relations  between  the  mother 
country  and  the  Colony.  .  .  .  That  part  of  the 
constitution  which  requires  that  the  ministers  of 
the  Crown  shall  be  responsible  to  Parliament  and 

1  See  House  of  Commons  Paper,  No.  113,  March  2,  1836,  p.  64. 


shall  be  removable  if  they  do  not  obtain  the  confi- 
dence of  Parliament,  is  a  condition  which  exists  in 
an  Imperial  legislature  and  in  an  Imperial  legis- 
lature only.  It  is  a  condition  which  cannot  be 
carried  into  effect  in  a  colony — it  is  a  condition 
which  can  only  exist  in  one  place,  namely  the  seat 
of  the  Empire.' 

He  used  similar  terms  in  the  debates  of  the 
following  January,  when  the  constitution  of  Lower 
Canada  was  being  suspended  and  Lord  Durham 
was  being  sent  out ;  and,  after  Lord  Durham's 
Report  had  been  received,  laid  before  Parliament, 
and  fully  considered,  he  reiterated  the  same  views 
to  the  new  Governor-General  of  Canada,  Poulett 
Thomson,  in  his  dispatch  of  the  14th  of  October 
1839,  which  will  be  found  in  the  Appendix.  It  will 
be  seen  on  reference  to  that  dispatch  that  Lord 
John  Russell  apparently  did  not  appreciate  the  full 
force  and  intent  of  Lord  Durham's  recommenda- 
tions. He  gives  an  unqualified  negative  to  the 
grant  of  responsible  government,  treating  the 
question  as  decided  by  the  resolutions  against  it 
which  had  been  passed  in  Parliament ;  but  he  adds 
that  '  while  I  thus  see  insuperable  objections  to  the 
adoption  of  the  principle,  as  it  has  been  stated, 
I  see  little  or  none  to  the  practical  views  of  colonial 
government  recommended  by  Lord  Durham,  as 
I  understand  them '.  The  demand  had  been  for 
a  Parliamentary  Executive  on  the  model  of  the 
British  constitution,  for  the  conversion  of  the 
Executive  Council  into  a  Cabinet.  To  this  Lord 
John  Russell  answers.  The  prerogative  of  the 
Crown  in  England  is  never  exercised  without 


advice.    The  Governor  is  the  representative  of  the 
Crown  and  receives  his  orders  from  the  Crown. 

'  Can  the  Colonial  Council  be  the  advisers  of  the 
Crown  of  England  ?  Evidently  not,  for  the  Crown 
has  other  advisers,  for  the  same  functions,  and  with 
superior  authority.  It  may  happen,  therefore,  that 
the  Governor  receives  at  one  and  the  same  time 
instructions  from  the  Queen,  and  advice  from  his 
Executive  Council,  totally  at  variance  with  each 
other.  If  he  is  to  obey  his  instructions  from 
England,  the  parallel  of  constitutional  responsi- 
bility entirely  fails  ;  if,  on  the  other  hand,  he 
is  to  follow  the  advice  of  his  council,  he  is  no 
longer  a  subordinate  officer,  but  an  independent 

Lord  John  Russell  then  goes  on  to  point  out  that 
the  force  of  these  objections  had  been  felt  in  regard 
to  questions  of  other  than  internal  concern,  draw- 
ing the  distinction  which  had  been  drawn  in  Lord 
Durham's  report  and  to  which  further  reference 
will  be  made  ;  but  he  maintains  that,  even  in  regard 
to  the  purely  domestic  matters  of  a  colony,  the 
principle  of  responsible  government  is  inadmissible. 
He  held,  and  others  held  with  him,  that  a  colony 
must  either  be  a  dependency  or  an  independent 
state.  Cornewall  Lewis,  writing  in  1841,  took  the 
same  view. 

'  If  the  government  of  the  dominant  country 
substantially  govern  the  dependency,  the  repre- 
sentative body  cannot  substantially  govern  it ;  and 
conversely,  if  the  dependency  be  substantially 
governed  by  the  representative  body,  it  cannot  be 
substantially  governed  by  the  Government  of  the 
dominant  country.  A  self-governing  dependency 

1352'J  L 


(supposing  the  dependency  not  to   be   virtually 
independent)  is  a  contradiction  in  terms.' ] 

Many  years  later,  in  1870,  we  find  similar  views 
still  put  forward  by  a  Colonial  Governor  of  great 
ability  and  long  experience.  Sir  Philip  Wodehouse, 
Governor  of  the  Cape  Colony,  contending  against 
the  proposal  to  give  responsible  government  to 
that  colony,  and  opposing  it  largely  on  the  ground 
of  the  existence  of  the  native  population,  wrote  : 

'  I  have  never  regarded  responsible  government 
as  applied  to  a  colony,  more  properly  speaking 
a  dependency,  as  anything  less  than  an  absolute 
contradiction  in  terms.  How  can  a  ministry, 
responsible  to  its  own  constituencies,  render 
obedience  to  the  permanent  power  ?  The  issue 
between  them  may  be  shirked  or  postponed,  but 
it  must  come.  Responsible  government  I  have 
always  held  to  be  applicable  only  to  communities 
fast  advancing  to  fitness  for  absolute  independence, 
and  I  think  that  the  course  of  events  in  British 
North  America,  Australia,  New  Zealand,  and 
Jamaica  has,  in  different  forms,  gone  very  far  to 
establish  that  view.'  2 

Occasion  will  be  taken  later  to  note  how  far  these 
objections  were  valid,  and  what  light  subsequent 
history  has  thrown  upon  them/  The  contention  in 
Lord  Durham's  Report  was  that  a  clear  line  could 
be  drawn  between  matters  of  Imperial  and  matters 
of  purely  colonial  concern,  and  that  in  regard  to 
the  second  class  of  questions,  those  of  purely 
colonial  concern,  the  colony  should  no  longer  be 

1  Government  of  Dependencies,  1891  cd.,  chap,  x,  p.  289. 
1  Correspondence  relating  to  the  Affairs  of  the  Cape  of  Cood  Hope, 
C.  459,  1871,  p.  15. 


a  dependency  ;  that  on  the  contrary,  it  should  be 
given  through  national  institutions  the  sense  of 
national  existence  ;  and  that,  in  reference  to  these 
internal  matters,  the  Governor,  as  the  representa- 
tive of  the  Crown,  should  act  on  the  advice  of 
a  colonial  cabinet,  not  on  the  advice  given  to  the 
Crown  by  ministers  in  England.  He  states  his 
case  so  clearly  that  it  is  difficult  to  understand  how 
Lord  John  Russell  could  have  felt  any  doubt  about 
his  meaning,  except  for  the  fact  that  the  Report, 
in  order  to  emphasize  the  opinions  of  the  writer, 
is  apt  to  exaggerate  the  contention  of  those  who 
held  the  contrary  view.  Thus,  in  the  following 
passage,  Lord  Durham  represents  those  who  were 
opposed  to  responsible  government  as  maintaining 
that  'the  administration  of  a  colony  should  be 
carried  on  by  persons  nominated  without  any 
reference  to  the  wishes  of  its  people  ',  a  statement 
which  is  not  only  too  wide  but  directly  contrary  to 
the  tenor  of  Lord  Glenelg's  dispatches. 

Otherwise  the  passage  sums  up  precisely  the 
meaning  and  intent  of  responsible  government : 

'  I  know  that  it  has  been  urged,  that  the  prin- 
ciples which  are  productive  of  harmony  and  good 
government  in  the  mother  country,  are  by  no 
means  applicable  to  a  colonial  dependency.  It  is 
said  that  it  is  necessary  that  the  administration  of 
a  colony  should  be  carried  on  by  persons  nominated 
without  any  reference  to  the  wishes  of  its  people  ; 
that  they  have  to  carry  into  effect  the  policy,  not 
of  that  people,  but  of  the  authorities  at  home  ; 
and  that  a  colony  which  should  name  all  its  own 
administrative  functionaries  would,  in  fact,  cease 
to  be  dependent.  I  admit  that  the  system  which 



I  propose  would,  in  fact,  place  the  internal  govern- 
ment of  the  colony  in  the  hands  of  the  colonists 
themselves ;  and  that  we  should  thus  leave  to  them 
the  execution  of  the  laws,  of  which  we  have  long 
entrusted  the  making  solely  to  them  '  (ii.  280-1). 

Thus,  within  certain  limits  or  under  certain 
restrictions,  Lord  Durham  recommended  that, 
given  a  majority  of  British  citizens,  Canada  or  any 
British  colony  under  similar  conditions  to  those  of 
Canada,  should  be  self-governing  as  England  is 
self-governing,  that  is  to  say,  that  within  those 
limits  it  should  be  subject  to  the  Crown  only, 
advised  by  the  colonial  ministers,  who  should  be 
members  of  and  responsible  to  the  Colonial  Legis- 
lature. What  were  these  limits  and  restrictions  ? 
In  the  last  pages  of  the  Report  Lord  Durham 
sums  up  his  recommendations,  and  we  have  an 
outline  of  the  constitution  which  he  proposed  for 
Canada.  The  two  provinces  were  to  be  reunited 
under  one  Legislature,  and  reconstituted  as  one 
province ;  the  Bill  to  be  introduced  into  the 
Imperial  Parliament  for  reuniting  the  two  provinces 
was  to  provide  for  the  voluntary  admission  of  the 
other  North  American  provinces  into  the  Union  at 
a  later  date  ;  a  Parliamentary  Commission  was  to 
be  appointed  to  mark  out  electoral  divisions  and 
give  representation  as  nearly  as  possible  in  pro- 
portion to  population ;  the  two  provinces  in  this, 
as  in  other  matters,  were  to  be  dealt  with  as  one, 
and  any  plan  for  giving  an  equal  number  of 
representatives  to  Lower  and  to  Upper  Canada 
was  to  be  discarded  ;  the  same  Parliamentary 
Commission  was  to  form  a  plan  for  constituting 


elective  local  bodies  subordinate  to  the  General 
Legislature,  and  the  plan  was  to  be  embodied  in 
an  Imperial  Act,  so  as  to  prevent  the  General 
Legislature  from  encroaching  on  the  local  bodies  ; 
'  a  general  Executive  on  an  improved  principle  ' 
was  to  be  established,  and  with  this  recommenda- 
tion is  coupled  a  recommendation  that  a  Supreme 
Court  of  Appeal  should  be  established  for  all  the 
British  North  American  Colonies  ;  this  General 
Executive  was  to  be  such  that  '  the  responsibility 
to  the  United  legislature  of  all  officers  of  the 
Government,  except  the  Governor  and  his  Secre- 
tary, should  be  secured  by  every  means  known 
to  the  British  Constitution ' ;  the  constitution  of 
the  Legislative  Council  was  to  be  revised  by  the 
Imperial  Parliament,  so  as  to  enable  it  '  to  act  as 
an  useful  check  on  the  popular  branch  of  the 
legislature',  without  a  repetition  of  the  collisions 
between  the  two  Houses  which  had  occurred  in 
past  years  ;  the  entire  administration  of  thgjpublic 
lands  was  to  be  left  to  the  Imperial  Government ; 
all  the  other  revenues  of  the  Crown  were  to  be 
given  over  to  the  Legislature  in  return  for  an 
adequate  Civil  List ;  the  judges  were  to  be  placed 
in  the  same  position,  as  regards  tenure  and  salary, 
as  in  England  ;  no  money  votes  were  to  be  pro- 
posed except  with  the  consent  of  the  Crown,  i.e. 
by  the  responsible  ministers.  In  a  previous  passage 
Lord  Durham  had  specified  that  the  .only  matters 
in  which  the  mother  country  need  retain  control 
over  the  colony  were,  '  the  constitution  of  the  form 
of  government,  the  regulation  of  foreign  relations 
and  of  trade  with  the  mother  country,  the  other 


British  colonies,  and  foreign  jiations^-aniL  the  dis- 
posal of  the  public  lands-  ^ii.  282). 

The  above  being  an  outline  of  Lord  Durham's 
proposals,  the  answer  to  the  question,  What  limits 
or  restrictions  did  he  contemplate  in  respect  to  the 
grant  of  responsible  government? — is,  first,  that 
he  drew  a  line  between  matters  of  imperial  and 
matters  of  purely  colonial  concern  ;  and  secondly, 
that  in  what  he  considered  to  be  the  purely  colonial 
sphere,  he  made  certain  recommendations  which 
would  have  the  effect  of  restricting  the  powers  of 

the  elected  branch  of  the  Legislature.     Under  the 


first  head  he  reserved  to  the  control  of  the  Imperial 
Government  the  constitution  of  the  colony,  its 
foreign  relations,  the  whole  of  its  external  trade, 
and  the  whole  of  its  public  lands.  It  will  be  noted 
that  he  does  not  mention  the  control  of  the  armed 
forces  on  land  or  sea.  Presumably  he  would  have 
included  this  most  important  matter  under  the 
head  of  foreign  relations ;  but  how  far  he  would 
have  left  the  militia  laws,  and  the  control  of  the 
militia  in  normal  times,  to  the  discretion  of 
the  Colonial  Legislature,  does  not  appear.  By 
reserving  to  the  Imperial  Government  the  manage- 
.  ment  of  the  public  lands,  he  reserved  control  of  no 
small  proportion  of  the  colonial  revenues;  and, 
turning  to  the  second  head,  it  will  be  noted  that  he 
insisted,  as  a  matter  of  course,  on  also  reserving  a 
Civil  List,  and  on  securing  in  permanence  the  sala- 
ries of  the  judges.  These  reservations  were  directly 
contrary  to  the  claims  which  had  been  so  persis- 
tently advanced  by  the  Assembly  of  Lower  Canada. 
It  is  true  that  Lord  Durham  coupled  them  with 


the  grant  of  responsible  government,  but  the 
French-Canadian  leaders  had  contended  that,  on 
its  merits,  a  permanent  Civil  List  was  not  suited 
to  the  circumstances  of  the  Province  of  Quebec. 
In  this  respect,  and  in  others,  notably  in  the 
recommendation  that  money  votes  should  only  be 
initiated  upon  the  authority  of  the  Crown,  we  trace 
the  intensely  British  cast  of  Lord  Durham's  mind. 
The  new  system  in  Canada  was  to  be  the  British 
system  ;  responsible  government  was  to  be  given 
in  internal  matters,  because  England  had  respon- 
sible government ;  but  all  the  British  checks  were 
to  be  applied.  On  the  subject  of  the  Legislative 
Council  the  Report  is  disappointing,  and  gives  no 
guidance.  Lord  Durham  tells  us  what  the  Council 
should  not  be  ;  he  condemns  its  existing  com- 
position, he  dismisses  the  possibility  of  recon- 
stituting it  upon  the  lines  of  the  House  of  Lords, 
and  thereby  departs  from  his  British  model,  but 
he  gives  no  hint  as  to  how  it  should  be  recast,  and 
contents  himself  with  insisting  that  it  should  be 
an  effective  check  upon  the  popular  Legislature, 
again  looking  to  the  British  system,  and  again 
controverting,  to  some  extent  at  any  rate,  the 
French-Canadian  views.  Lastly,  writing,  we  may 
assume,  with  the  Municipal  Corporations  Act, 
which  the  Whig  Government  had  carried  in  1835, 
fresh  in  his  mind,1  Lord  Durham  lays  the  greatest 
stress  upon  the  establishment  of  a  good  system  of 

1  '  In  1835  the  Municipal  Corporations  Act  restored  to  the  inhabitants 
of  towns  those  rights  of  self-government,  of  which  they  had  been 
deprived  since  the  fourteenth  century '  (Green's  Short  History  of  the 
English  People,  Epilogue). 


municipal  institutions,  as  a  check  upon  the  General 
Legislature.  The  local  bodies  in  Canada  were  to  be 
subordinate  to  the  General  Legislature,  but  they 
were  to  take  something  from  it,  notably  the  oppor- 
tunities which  dabbling  in  purely  local  matters 
gave  for  jobbery  and  corruption.  As  colonial 
liberties  were  to  be  safeguarded  against  interfer- 
ence from  home  by  the  grant  of  responsible  govern- 
ment, so  local  liberties  were  to  be  safeguarded 
by  Imperial  Statute  and  by  the  prerogative  of 
the  Crown  against  interference  on  the  part  of  the 
Central  Legislature.  '  A  general  legislature,  which 
manages  the  private  business  of  every  parish,  in 
addition  to  the  common  business  of  the  country, 
wields  a  power  which  no  single  body,  however 
popular  in  its  constitution,  ought  to  have  ;  a 
power  which  must  be  destructive  of  any  con- 
stitutional balance  '  (ii.  287).1 


Lord  Durham's  Report  abounds  in  references  to 
questions  connected  with  lands  and  land  tenure 
in  British  North  America,  seigniories,  townships, 
clergy  reserves,  and  the  like  ;  and  twenty-one 
continuous  pages  of  the  Report  in  the  original  Blue 
Book  form,  out  of  one  hundred  and  nineteen,  are 
devoted  to  the  Disposal  of  Public  Lands  and 
Emigration.  The  best  known  of  the  Appendices 

1  On  this  subject,  the  value  of  municipal  institutions  as  a  corrective 
of  the  Central  Legislature,  see  Merivale's  Lectures  on  Colonisation  and 
Colonies,  Appendix  of  1861,  pp.  651-4.  He  points  out  how  the  colonial 
legislatures  in  Australia  would  not  adopt  the  policy  of  creating  local 
bodies  '  partly  because  its  adoption  would  have  diminished  the  excessive 
power  of  the  central  legislature  '.  See  also  below,  pp.  217-9. 


is  Charles  Buller's  Report  upon  the  same  question, 
which  Buller  tells  us  in  his  account  of  Lord  Dur- 
ham's mission  was,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  really  due 
to  Gibbon  Wakefield.  Buller  also  supplied  a  short 
special  Report  upon  militia  claims  to  grants  of 
land  ;  his  assistant,  Mr.  Hanson,  made  a  special 
Report  on  the  excessive  appropriation  of  public 
lands  under  the  name  of  clergy  reserves  ;  and 
among  the  Appendices  which  have  not  been  re- 
printed are  a  long  Report  on  the  Jesuits'  estates, 
made  by  Mr.  Dunkin,  secretary  to  the  Commission 
of  Enquiry  into  the  State  of  Education  in  Lower 
Canada,  another  Report  by  Buller  on  the  Com- 
mutation of  the  Sulpician  feudal  tenures,  more 
especially  in  the  island  of  Montreal,  and  a  Report 
by  Turton  on  the  establishment  of  a  Registry  of 
Real  Property  in  Lower  Canada. 

Corresponding  to  the  space  allotted  to  the 
consideration  of  land  questions  is  the  strength  of 
the  terms  in  which  Lord  Durham  emphasizes  the 
importance  of  the  subject  of  public  lands.  '  The 
disposal  of  public  lands  in  a  new  country  has  more 
influence  on  the  prosperity  of  the  people  than  any 
other  branch  of  government '  (ii.  242).  '  In  the 
North  American  colonies  of  England,  as  in  the 
United  States,  the  function  of  authority  most  full 
of  good  or  evil  consequences  has  been  the  disposal 
of  public  land '  (ii.  206).  Such  a  scheme  as  Buller 
outlined,  and  he  adopted,  for  the  disposal  of  public 
lands,  was,  in  his  opinion,  If  more  calculated  tharl 
any  other  reform  whatever  to  attach  the  people\ 
of  British  North  America  to  Your  Majesty's  throne,] 
and  to  cement  and  perpetuate  an  intimate  con- 


nexion  between  the  colonies  and  the  mother 
country '  (ii.  207-8).  '  The  warmest  admirers,  and 
the  strongest  opponents  of  republican  institutions, 
admit  or  assert  that  the  amazing  prosperity  of  the 
United  States  is  less  owing  to  their  form  of  govern- 
ment, than  to  the  unlimited  supply  of  fertile  land, 
which  maintains  succeeding  generations  in  an  un- 
diminishing  affluence  of  fertile  soil '  (ii.  331). 

Two  points  should  be  noted  at  the  outset.  The 
JirsJ}  is  that  the  part  of  the  Report  which  deals 
with  the  disposal  of  public  lands  is  the  one  part 
which  includes  in  fact,  and  not  merely  in  name,  the 
whole  of  British  North  America,  with  the  excep- 
tion of  Newfoundland.^  Thejsecond  point  is  that, 
when  dealing  with  public  lands  and  emigration, 
Lord  Durham  has  in  view  the  interests  of  the 
mother  country  as  immediately  and  directly  as 
those  of  the  colonies.  1  At  the  beginning  of  the 
Report  he  speaks  of  the  lands  and  resources  of 
British  North  America  as  '  the  rightful  patrimony 
of  the  English  people,  the  ample  appanage  which 
God  and  nature  have  set  aside  in  the  New  World 
for  those  whose  lot  has  assigned  them  but  in- 
sufficient portions  in  the  Old '  (ii.  13).  At  the  end 
of  the  Report  he  sums  up,  '  I  see  no  reason,  there- 
fore, for  doubting  that,  by  good  government,  and 
the  adoption  of  a  sound  system  of  colonization, 
the  British  possessions  in  North  America  may  thus 
be  made  the  means  of  conferring  on  the  suffering 
classes  of  the  mother  country  many  of  the  bless- 
ings which  have  hitherto  been  supposed  to  be 
peculiar  to  the  social  state  of  the  New  World  ' 
(ii.  331-2).  Lord  Durham  had  a  scheme  for,  or 


a  vision  of,  the  true  management  of  colonies,  and 
their  full  and  free  development,  but  always  in  con- 
nexion with  and  in  relation  to  the  mother  country. 
His  scheme  included  on  the  one  side  constitutional 
reform,  with  subsidiary  reforms  appended.  The 
basis  of  this  was  responsible  government,  and  in 
proposing  responsible  government  he  was  concerned 
to  consider  how  much  he  could  give  to  the  colonies, 
so  as  to  make  the  colonial  legislatures  national 
legislatures.  The  other  side  of  the  scheme  looked 
rather  towards  the  mother  country,  and  in  regard 
to  the  disposal  of  public  lands  he  was  concerned 
to  hold  for  the  mother  country  what  he  considered 
that  the  mother  country  had  won.  His  concep- 
tion was  broad  and  generous.  He  looked  out  upon 
the  Empire  as  a  whole,  and  did  not  forget  the 
interdependence  of  the  interests  of  the  different 
parts.  He  was  imperially  minded,  whether  he  con- 
sidered the  colonies  or  whether  he  considered  the 
mother  country ;  and  to  his  mind  public  lands  and 
emigration  formed  a  necessary  complement  to  con- 
stitutional reform.  In  the  matter  of  responsible 
government  primarily  he  gave  to  the  colonies,  in 
the  matter  of  public  lands  primarily  he  kept  for 
the  mother  country. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  in  emphasizing  the 
importance  of  the  subject  of  public  lands,  in  deal- 
ing with  it  as  a  matter  of  prime  interest  to  the 
mother  country,  and  in  the  method  of  disposal  of 
the  lands  which  he  put  forward,  he  was  the  mouth- 
piece of  Gibbon  Wakefield's  views.  Wakefield  had 
been  with  him  in  Canada,  and  the  Report  was 
written  and  published  just  at  the  time  when  the 


principles  which  Wakefield  had  laid  down  in  regard 
to  public  lands  and  colonization  found  most  general 
acceptance.  In  1834  the  South  Australian  Act 
had  been  passed,  and  at  the  end  of  1836  that 
colony  was  founded,  intended  to  be  a  model 
colony,  planted  upon  the  lines  of  the  Wakefield 
system.  In  August  of  that  same  year,  1836,  the 
Select  Committee  of  the  House  of  Commons  upon 
the  disposal  of  public  lands  in  the  British  colonies 
issued  their  Report,  embodying  Wakefield's  views  ; 
and  although  Canada,  as  Lord  Durham  reminds 
us,  was  not  directly  within  the  purview  of  that 
committee,  there  are  abundant  references  in  the 
evidence  given  by  Wakefield  himself,  as  well  as  by 
other  witnesses,  to  the  dealings  with  land  in  the 
British  North  American  colonies.  Both  before  he 
went  to  Canada  and  after  his  return,  Lord  Durham 
was  in  close  touch  with  Wakefield  in  the  schemes 
for  the  colonization  of  New  Zealand.  In  short, 
he  and  Charles  Buller  alike  were  in  this  matter 
Wakefield's  disciples ;  Wakefield  must  be  credited 
with  the  special  Report  on  the  subject  which  bears 
Charles  Buller's  signature;  and  whoever  actually 
wrote  the  part  of  the  main  Report  which  relates  to 
public  lands  and  emigration,  no  one  doubts  that 
the  inspiration  came  from  Gibbon  Wakefield. 
*  The  essence  of  the  Wakefield  system  was,  that 
all  the  public  lands  of  a  colony  should  be  sold  at 
a  uniform  substantial  fixed  price,  and  that  the 
proceeds  of  the  sales  should  be  mainly  devoted  to 
sending  out  emigrants  who,  from  the  high  price 
of  the  land,  would  not  be  able  to  become  land- 
holders in  the  first  instance,  but  would  supply  the 


labour  necessary  for  the  development  of  the  new 
country,  while  relieving  the  competition  in  the 
labour  market  at  home.  The  system  will  be  found 
fully  discussed  in  Meriyalels  lectures  on  coloniza- 
tion and  colonies,1  and  reference  should  be  made 
to  a  speech  made  by  Sir  William  Molesworth  on 
the  subject  in  the  House  of  Commons  on  the  27th 
of  June  1839,  a  few  months  after  the  publication 
of  Lord  Durham's  and  Buller's  Reports.2  Moles- 
worth  spoke  in  support  of  resolutions  embodying 
Waken" eld's  principles.  The  resolutions  set  forth 
the  advantages  to  the  United  Kingdom  -to  be 
derived  from  '  the  occupation  and  cultivation  of 
waste  lands  in  the  British  colonies  by  means  of 
emigration '.  They  laid  down  that  '  the  pros- 
perity of  colonies,  and  the  progress  of  colonization, 
mainly  depend  upon  the  manner  in  which  a  right 
of  private  property  in  the  waste  lands  of  the  colony 
may  be  acquired ',  and  that  the  most  effectual 
method  of  disposing  of  the  waste  lands  was  '  the 
plan  of  sale  at  a  fixed  uniform  and  sufficient  price, 
for  ready  money,  without  any  condition  or  restric- 
tion, and  the  employment  of  the  whole  or  a  large 
fixed  proportion  of  the  purchase  money '  in  pro- 
viding passages  for  emigrants.  They  further  laid 
down  that  '  it  is  essential  that  the  permanence  of 
the  system  shall  be  secured  by  the  legislature, 
and  that  its  administration  should  be  entrusted 
to  a  distinct  subordinate  branch  of  the  Colonial 

1  Among  later  accounts  see  chap,  i  in  Book  III  of  Professor  Egerton's 
Xhort  History  of  British  Colonial  Policy. 

•  See  the  Selected  Speeches  of  Sir  William  Molesworth,  edited  by 
Professor  Egerton.  1903.  Speech  on  the  Wakcfield  system  of  disposing 
of  the  colonial  lands. 


department,  authorized  to  sell  Colonial  lands  in 
this  country ',  and  to  raise  loans  for  emigration 
on  the  security  of  the  land  sales.  Finally  they  cited 
the  success  which  had  attended  the  application  of 
the  system  in  the  case  of  South  Australia.  Moles- 
worth,  in  his  speech,  credited  Wakefield  with  first 
enunciating  in  1829  the  principles  set  out  in  the 
resolutions,  and  developing  them  in  1833.  He 
said  that  they  had  been  partially  adopted  by  the 
Colonial  Office  in  1832,  and  had  been  embodied  in 
the  South  Australian  Act ;  that  in  1836  they  were 
recognized  by  Lord  Glenelg  in  a  circular  addressed 
to  the  West  Indian  colonies ;  that  in  the  same  year 
they  were  approved  by  the  committee  of  the  House 
of  Commons,  to  which  reference  has  already  been 
made  ;  and  that  they  had  been  confirmed  by  the 
transportation  committee  which  reported  in  1838. 
'  They  form,'  he  continued,  '  no  inconsiderable 
and  by  no  means  the  least  valuable  portion  of 
Lord  Durham's  report  on  Canada.  My  honourable 
friend  the  member  for  Liskeard  (Charles  Buller) 
has  adopted  them  in  his  able  report  on  the  waste 
lands  of  the  North  American  colonies.  And  lastly, 
within  a  few  weeks,  a  company  with  a  capital  of 
£250,000,  has  been  established  on  these  very  prin- 
ciples, to  colonize  New  Zealand.' 

Nowhere  in  the  world,  perhaps,  have  lands 
and  land  tenure  figured  so  largely  in  political 
liistory  as  in  British  North  America.  A  library 
of  books  might  be  written  upon  British  North 
American  land  questions  without  exhausting  the 
subject,  and  probably  without  elucidating  the 
most  confusing  questions  which  present  them- 


selves  to   any  one  who  studies  the  Blue  Books 
and  Reports. 

There  was  in  the  first  place  the  question  of  the 
dual  system  of  land  tenure  in  Lower  Canada, 
the  French  and  the  English,  the  feudal  tenure  and 
that  of  free  and  common  soccage.  The  com- 
petition and  conflict  between  the  two  tenures  had 
gone  on  ever  since  the  date  of  the  Royal  Pro- 
clamation of  1763,  long  before  the  Constitution 
Act  of  1791  had  divided  the  Province  of  Quebec 
into  the  two  Canadas  ;  and  in  course  of  time,  after 
the  passing  of  that  Act,  its  result  had  been  to 
create  in  Lower  Canada  an  English  district,  as 
opposed  to  the  French  regions  of  the  seigniories. 
The  seigniories  lay  along  the  St.  Lawrence.  '  Along 
the  alluvial  banks  of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  its 
tributaries,  they  [the  French  Canadians]  have 
cleared  two  or  three  strips  of  land,  cultivated  them 
in  the  worst  method  of  small  farming,  and  estab- 
lished a  series  of  continuous  villages,  which  give 
the  country  of  the  seigniories  the  appearance  of  a 
never-ending  street '  (ii.  28-9).  The  townships  lay 
away  from  the  St.  Lawrence  on  the  borders  of  the 
United  States.  They  formed  the  English  part  of 
Lower  Canada.  Thus  the  Assistant  Commissioners 
of  Municipal  Enquiry  reported  that  '  The  bulk  of 
the  population  of  the  townships  is  composed  of  old 
American  loyalists  and  more  recent  settlers  from 
the  United  States  ;  the  remainder  are  emigrants 
from  Britain '  (Appendix  C,  iii.  142) ;  and  earlier,  in 
1823,  a  petition  from  the  townships  to  the  House 
of  Commons  recited  that  *  The  townships,  or  English 
Lower  Canada,  are  peopled  wholly  by  inhabitants  of 


British  birth  and  descent,  and  American  loyalists, 
amounting  at  present  to  about  40,000  souls,  who 
have  no  other  language  than  that  of  their  British 
ancestors,  who  inhabit  lands  granted  under  the 
British  tenure  of  free  and  common  soccage,  who 
have  a  Protestant  clergy  V  Not  the  least  interest- 
ing feature  in  the  townships  was  the  fact  that  they 
originated,  as  Buller  and  Lord  Durham  point  out, 
in  the  practice  of  *  Leaders  and  Associates ', 
whereby  the  land  regulations  were  evaded  and 
the  lands  which  were  granted  by  the  Crown 
became  accumulated  in  very  few  hands.  The 
following  is  the  evidence  given  on  the  subject 
before  Buller's  Commission  by  John  Davidson,  one 
of  the  Commissioners  of  Crown  Lands  in  Lower 

'  After  the  passing  of  the  Constitutional  Act  of 
1791,  lands  were  granted  by  patent  to  leaders  of 
Townships  and  their  associates.  Under  this  system 
1,200  acres  were  granted  to  the  leader,  and  1,200 
acres  to  each  of  his  associates,  it  being  quite 
notorious  that  in  many  cases  the  whole,  and  in 
none  less  than  1,000  acres,  were  immediately  re- 
conveyed  by  each  associate  to  the  leader.  .  .  .  The 
whole  was  a  plan  devised  for  the  purpose  of  elud- 
ing the  instructions  from  the  Home  Government, 
under  which  no  person  could  obtain  a  grant  of 
more  than  1,200  acres.' 

Thus  the  land  in  the  eastern  townships  was 
taken  up,  largely  by  Americans,  on  British  tenure, 
and  thus  a  distinctively  English  district  grew  up 
in  the  land  of  the  French  Canadians.  But  the 

1  Appendix  to  the  Report  of  the  Parliamentary  Committee  of  1828 
on  the  Civil  Government  of  Canada,  p.  323. 


English,  with  their  predilection  for  the  free  and 
common  soccage  tenure,  were  not  to  be  found  only 
in  the  townships.  They  invaded  also  the  seig- 
niories. '  The  wealthy  capitalist,5  Lord  Durham 
tells  us,  '  invested  his  money  in  the  purchase  of 
seigniorial  properties,  and  it  is  estimated  that  at 
the  present  moment  full  half  of  the  more  valuable 
seigniories  are  actually  owned  by  English  pro- 
prietors '  (ii.  36).  One  of  them  was  '  Bear  '  Ellice, 
who  became  owner  of  the  seigniory  of  Beauharnois, 
and  it  was  at  his  instance  that  provisions  were 
embodied  in  the  Canada  Trade  Act  of  1822  to 
facilitate  the  conversion  of  French  into  English 
land  tenure.  This  was  followed  by  the  Canada 
Tenures  Act  of  1825,  which  was  avowedly  intended 
gradually  to  extinguish  the  French  system.  These 
enactments  met  with  much  hostility  from  the 
Nationalist  party  in  the  Quebec  Assembly,  who 
considered  them  to  be  part  of  a  policy  designed  to 
denationalize  French  Canada,  and  contended  that 
the  effect  of  the  Tenures  Act  was  to  convert  the 
seignior  into  an  English  landlord,  and  to  deprive 
the  censitaire  or  habitant  of  the  rights  which  he 
enjoyed  under  the  old  feudal  tenure. 

Again  and  again  the  French  Canadian  party 
renewed  their  protests,  and  in  1836  they  went  so 
far  as  actually  to  pass  a  Bill,  which  the  Legislative 
Council  rejected,  repealing  the  two  Imperial  Acts, 
so  far  as  they  provided  for  commutation  of  French 
into  English  tenure.  It  seems  strange  that  Lord 
Durham  made  no  specific  recommendations  on  the 
main  subject  in  his  Report ;  but  Buller  tells  us 
that  it  had  been  fully  intended  to  deal  with  the 

1352-1  M 


question ;  the  extinction  of  the  feudal  tenures  was 
a  necessary  part  of  the  scheme  for  converting 
Lower  Canada  into  a  British  province;  and  in 
reference  to  the  Sulpician  seigniory  in  the  island  of 
Montreal,  Buller  speaks  of  *  the  pernicious  influ- 
ence of  these  feudal  tenures,  which  in  all  parts  of 
the  province  retard  the  extension  of  its  commerce 
and  the  development  of  its  natural  resources ', 
just  as  Lord  Durham  himself  writes  of  '  ancient 
and  barbarous  laws '  (ii.  265).  The  attitude  which 
was  taken  up  on  the  subject  by  the  Imperial 
Government,  and  definitely  stated  in  Lord  Glenelg's 
Instructions  to  Lord  Gosford  in  July,  1835,1  was 
that  the  matter  must  eventually  be  settled  by  or 
at  the  instance  of  the  local  Legislature,  and  by  the 
local  Legislature  of  United  Canada  the  question 
was  finally  determined,  when,  in  the  year  1854, 
they  passed  the  Act  '  for  the  abolition  of  feudal 
rights  and  duties  in  Lower  Canada '. 

The  troubles  arising  out  of  conflicting  systems 
of  land  tenure,  one  French  and  the  other  English, 
were  confined  to  Lower  Canada.  The  difficulties 
which  were  created  by  the  system  of  clergy  re- 
serves were  common  to  both  the  provinces,  but 
were  especially  prominent  in  Upper  Canada,  where 
Lord  Durham  considered  the  clergy  reserves  to  be 
'  the  most  mischievous  practical  cause  of  dissen- 
sion '  (ii.  179). 

These  reserves  had  been  called  into  being  by 
the  Constitutional  Act  of  1791,  certain  sections  of 
which  provided  that  there  should  be  a  permanent 

1  Copy  of  Instructions  given  to  the  Earl  of  Gosford,  &c.}  House  of 
Commons,  Paper,  No.  113,  March,  1836,  p.  10. 


appropriation  of  public  lands  in  the  two  provinces 
for  the  endowment  of  a  Protestant  clergy.  As 
regards  the  future  it  was  enacted  that,  whenever 
grants  of  Crown  land  were  made,  an  amount  of 
land  was  to  be  reserved  for  the  purpose  of  such 
endowment,  as  nearly  equal  in  value  as  could  be 
estimated  to  one-seventh  of  the  lands  which  were 
granted  for  other  purposes.  The  Act  went  on  to 
authorize  the  creation  of  parsonages  or  rectories 
in  each  parish  according  to  the  establishment  of 
the  Church  of  England,  and  there  ensued  an  inter- 
minable controversy,  more  especially  in  the  Pro- 
testant province  of  Upper  Canada,  as  to  whether 
the  scope  of  the  Act  was  confined  to  the  Church 
of  England  or  included  also  other  Protestant 
denominations.  Apart  from  this  fruitful  element 
of  dissension,  the  provisions  in  question  operated 
as  a  bar  to  what  would  now  be  called  closer  settle- 
ment, for,  whenever  Crown  land  was  alienated, 
a  certain  amount  was  locked  up  in  clergy  reserves, 
which  remained  undeveloped  for  want  of  the 
capital  necessary  to  develop  them.  To  meet  this 
evil  an  Imperial  Act  was  passed  in  1827,1  permit- 
ting the  Government  to  sell  a  certain  proportion 
of  the  reserves,  the  proceeds  to  be  applied  to  the 
improvement  of  the  unsold  reserves  or  to  the 
purposes  for  which  the  reserves  were  originally 
made.  The  action  of  Sir  John  Colborne  in  estab- 
lishing a  large  number  of  Church  of  England 
rectories,  to  which  Lord  Durham  refers  (ii.  175), 
greatly  increased  the  opposition  to  the  system, 
although,  as  has  been  already  pointed  out, 

1  7  &  8  Geo.  IV.  c.  62. 
M  2 


Colborne  acted  in  accordance  with  the  Secretary 
of  State's  views  in  1832,  and  the  course  which  he 
adopted  was  upheld  in  the  courts  of  law.  The 
system,  in  short,  had  given  rise  to  abuses,  as  is 
shown  in  Mr.  Hanson's  Report  on  the  excessive 
amount  of  land  which  had  been  appropriated  for 
the  purposes  in  question;  it  had  caused  much 
practical  inconvenience ;  and  it  had  proved  to  be 
out  of  place  and  out  of  time,  for  in  Lower  Canada 
the  overwhelming  number  of  the  inhabitants  were 
Roman  Catholics,  with  a  fully  developed  and  time- 
honoured  church  organization,  while  Upper  Canada 
was  a  new  and  sparsely  settled  country,  in  which 
the  great  majority  of  the  colonists,  though  they 
were  Protestants,  were  not  members  of  the  Church 
of  England. 

'  The  apparent  right  which  time  and  custom 
give  to  the  maintenance  of  an  ancient  and  re- 
spected institution  cannot  exist  in  a  recently 
settled  country,  in  which  everything  is  new  ;  and 
the  establishment  of  a  dominant  church  there  is 
a  creation  of  exclusive  privileges  in  favour  of  one 
out  of  many  religious  denominations,  and  that 
composing  a  small  minority,  at  the  expense  not 
merely  of  the  majority,  but  of  many  as  large 
minorities '  (ii.  178). 

The  prominence  which  the  question  of  the  clergy 
reserves  attained  in  the  politics  of  Upper  Canada 
may  be  in  part  attributed  to  the  strong  character 
of  Strachan,^  the  leader  (though  a  Scotchman)  of 
the  Church  of  England  party  in  the  province,  and 
a  foremost  figure  in  the  '  Family  Compact '. 
Shortly  after  Lord  Durham  left  Canada,  Strachan 


was,  towards  the  end  of  1839,  created  the  first 
Church  of  England  Bishop  of  Toronto,  and  as  he 
played  a  great  part  in  the  secular  as  well  as  in 
the  Church  politics  of  the  time,  so  the  system,  of 
which  he  was  the  champion,  became,  apart  from  its 
merits  or  demerits,  one  of  the  burning  questions 
in  the  political  life  of  Upper  Canada.  Lord  Dur- 
ham was  more  specific  in  his  recommendation  on 
this  subject  than  he  was  in  regard  to  the  seigniorial 

'  It  is  most  important  that  this  question  should 
be  settled,  and  so  settled  as  to  give  satisfaction  to 
the  majority  of  the  people  of  the  two  Canadas, 
whom  it  equally  concerns.  And  I  know  of  no 
mode  of  doing  this  but  by  repealing  all  provisions 
in  Imperial  Acts  that  relate  to  the  application  of 
the  Clergy  Reserves,  and  the  funds  arising  from 
them,  leaving  the  disposal  of  the  funds  to  the  local 
legislature,  and  acquiescing  in  whatever  decision 
it  may  adopt '  (ii.  179). 

As  will  be  told  later,  this  recommendation  was 
eventually  carried  out,  and  in  1854  the  Canadian 
Parliament  passed  an  Act  by  which  the  clergy 
reserves  were  finally  secularized. 

It  has  been  noticed  that  among  the  Appendices 
to  Lord  Durham's  Report  are  Reports  upon  the 
Jesuits'  estates,  and  upon  the  desired  commutation 
of  the  feudal  tenures  enjoyed  by  the  Seminary  of 
St.  Sulpice.  At  the  time  of  the  cession  of  Canada 
to  Great  Britain,  the  Jesuits  owned  various  seig- 
niories and  other  valuable  landed  property  in 
Lower  Canada.  After  the  passing  of  the  Quebec 
Act  in  1774,  the  new  Royal  Instructions. given  to 


Governor  Carleton  on  the  3rd  of  January,  1775, 
expressly  ordered  *  that  the  Society  of  Jesuits  be 
suppressed  and  dissolved,  and  no  longer  continued 
as  a  body  corporate  and  politic,  and  all  their  rights 
and  possessions  and  property  shall  be  vested  in 
Us  for  such  purposes  as  we  may  hereafter  think 
lit  to  direct  and  appoint '.  It  was  not,  however, 
until  1800  that  the  Crown  took  full  possession  of 
the  estates.  In  the  meantime,  in  or  about  1770, 
King  George  III  had  given  some  promise  of 
these  estates  to  Lord  Amherst  as  a  reward  for 
his  services  in  Canada,  and  the  claim  of  the 
Amherst  family  was  not  finally  extinguished  until 
1803.  In  Canada  it  had  always  been  contended 
that  the  proceeds  of  the  Jesuits'  estates  ought  to 
be  devoted  to  education,  and  eventually,  in  1831, 
Lord  Goderich  handed  over  the  revenues  from 
this  source  to  the  Quebec  Legislature  for  educa- 
tional purposes.  In  the  following  year  that  Legis- 
lature passed  an  Act  applying  the  funds  in  ques- 
tion to  education,  and  by  a  later  Canadian  Act  of 
1856  the  Jesuits'  estates  were  appropriated  to  form 
'  The  Lower  Canada  Education  Investment  Fund  '. 
Many  years  afterwards,  subsequent  to  the  Con- 
federation Act,  the  provincial  Legislature  of  Quebec 
passed  in  1888  the  Jesuits'  Estates  Act,  under 
which  a  sum  of  $400,000  was  paid  in  compensa- 
tion for  the  property  which  the  Jesuits  had  once 

It  will  be  observed  that  Lord  Durham  criticizes 
the  British  Government  on  the  ground  that  '  it 
has  applied  the  Jesuits'  estates,  part  of  the  pro- 

1  Sec  The  Seigniorial  System  in  Canada,  Muuro,  p.  250,  note  4. 


perty  destined  for  purposes  of  education,  to  supply 
a  species  of  fund  for  secret  service ;  and  for  a 
number  of  years  it  has  maintained  an  obstinate 
struggle  with  the  Assembly  in  order  to  continue 
this  misappropriation '  (ii.  136).  From  the  Report 
of  the  Commissioner  of  Inquiry  into  the  State  of 
Education  in  Lower  Canada  (vol.  iii,  App.  D),  and 
from  Mr.  Dunkin's  special  Report  upon  the  Jesuits' 
estates,  it  is  clear  that  this  criticism  applies  wholly 
or  mainly  to  the  years  between  1800  and  1831, 
Mr.  Dunkin's  account  being  that  '  the  revenues  of 
the  estates  during  the  interval  between  this  period 
(1800)  and  the  year  1831,  when  they  were  sur- 
rendered by  the  Provincial  Parliament  for  the 
support  of  education,  were  appropriated  by  the 
local  executive  as  a  part  of  the  property  of  the 
Crown,  and  no  report  as  to  the  mode  of  their 
application  was  made  public  '. 

The  Seminary  of  St.  Sulpice  had  never,  like  the 
Jesuits,  fallen  under  the  ban  of  the  British  Govern- 
ment. On  the  contrary,  the  Sulpicians  had  been 
allowed  to  retain  undisturbed  possession  of  their 
estates,  and  in  consequence  it  was  held  by  the  law 
officers  of  the  Crown  in  England,  who  were  con- 
sulted in  the  matter  during  Sir  James  Craig's 
Government,  by  Lord  Goderich  in  1831,  and  by 
Lord  Gosford  and  his  fellow  commissioners,  who 
made  a  special  Report  upon  the  question  in  October 
1836,  that  the  Crown  could  not  without  great 
hardship  disregard  their  proprietary  rights.  The 
Sulpicians  owned  three  seigniories  in  the  district 
of  Montreal,  one  of  which  included  nearly  the 
whole  island  of  Montreal,  and  the  object  of  Lord 


Gosford  and  his  colleagues,  as  well  as  of  Charles 
Buller's  later  recommendations,  was— 

which  were 

felt  to  be  a  growing  encumbrance  in  proportion 
to  the  growth  of  the  city  of  Montreal.  No  time 
was  lost  in  dealing  with  the  matter  after  Buller 
had  reported.  In  April  1839jbhe  Special  Council 
of  Lower  Canada  passed  an  ordinance  incorporat- 
ing the  seminary,  confirming~Fts  title  £o~its  seig- 
niories, and  providing  for  the  commutation  of  the 
seigniorial  rights^  thereby—  ^to  ^ate^EE^rords  in 
which  the  objects  of^tEef  ordinance  were  described 
—  '  relieving  a  wealthy  and  enterprising  com- 
munity from  the  encumbrances  and  drawbacks 
of  a  feudal  tenure  '.  The  ordinance  contained 
a  clause  providing  that  it  should  not  take  effect, 
until  confirmed  by  an  Imperial  Act,  or  other  legis- 
lative authority  competent  —  which  the  Special 
Council  was  not  —  to  give  it  perpetuity.  Sir  John 
Colborne  from  Canada,  and  Lord  Durham  in  Eng- 
land, earnestly  pressed  that  the  matter  should  be 
settled  without  delay  ;  and  in  the  following  year, 
1840,  by  duly  authorized  local  legislation  this  long 
outstanding  question  was  set  to  rest.1 

1  What  happened  was  rather  complicated.  The  Special  Council  for 
Lower  Canada  was  created  by  the  Imperial  '  Constitutional  Act  Suspen 
sion  Act,  1838.'  That  Act  provided  that  any  laws  passed  by  the  Council 
should  expire  on  November  ],  1842,  '  unless  continued  by  competent 
authority.'  Therefore  the  Council  could  not  in  any  case  —  apart  from 
the  reservation  clause  in  the  ordinance  referred  to  in  the  text  —  legislate 
in  perpetuity  for  the  Seminary  of  St.  Sulpice.  But  in  August  1839  the 
Imperial  Parliament  passed  the  Suspension  Act  Amendment  Act,  1839, 
which  repealed  the  provision  making  laws  passed  by  the  Special  Council 
expire  on  November  1,  1842,  and  the  same  Act,  while  prohibiting  the 
Special  Council  from  legislating  on  the  temporal  or  spiritual  rights  of 


In  all  new  countries,  as  a  general  rule,  land 
companies  play  a  prominent  part,  and  Canada  was 
110  exception  to  the  rule.  Two  companies  deserve 
special  mention,  one  of  which  went  to  work  in 
Upper  Canada,  the  other  in  the  eastern  townships 
of  the  Lower  Province.  The  former,  the  Canada 
Company,  was  the  elder  of  the  two,  and  was  given 
legal  recognition  by  an  Act  of  the  Imperial  Parlia- 
ment, passed  in  June  1825,1  which  was  followed  by 
a  Royal  Charter  incorporating  the  company  and 
bearing  the  date  of  the  19th  of  August  1826.  The 
preamble  of  the  Act  shows  clearly  that  the  object 
which  the  Government  had  in  view  in  passing  it, 
was  the  settlement  and  cultivation  of  the  Crown 
and  clergy  reserves  in  Upper  Canada  by  sale 
within  limits  to  a  chartered  company ;  and  Buller, 
in  his  Report  on  Public  Lands,  wrote  that  '  The 
sale  to  the  Canada  Company,  though  in  form  an 
exceptional  method  of  disposing  of  public  lands, 
was  in  effect,  and  was  intended  to  be,  a  delegation 
of  the  powers  of  Government  in  this  important 

ecclesiastics,  or  the  law  of  tenure,  made  a  special  exception  in  favour  of 
legislation  for  commuting  the  seigniorial  rights  of  the  Seminary  of  St. 
Sulpice.  When  the  Act  had  been  passed,  Lord  John  Russell,  who  was 
then  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies,  returned  the  ordinance  to  be 
revised  and  re-enacted.  Meanwhile  there  had  been  considerable  opposi- 
tion to  it  in  Canada  on  the  ground  that  it  was  too  favourable  to  the 
Seminary.  Poulett  Thomson  therefore  passed  a  new  ordinance  through 
the  Council  in  1840,  following  more  closely  the  lines  laid  down  by  Buller, 
and  less  favourable  to  the  ecclesiastics.  There  was  still  some  opposition 
both  in  Canada  and  in  England,  but  the  ordinance  was  allowed  to 
stand.  When  the  Canadian  Act  '  for  the  abolition  of  feudal  rights  and 
duties  in  Lower  Canada  '  was  passed  in  1854,  the  settlement  which  had 
been  made  was  safeguarded,  but  further  provisions  with  regard  to  the 
Seminary  and  its  tenures  were  included  in  the  Seigniorial  Amendment 
Act  of  1859.  l  An  amending  Act  was  passed  in  1828. 


particular  to  a  private  company  '   (Appendix  B, 
iii.  55). 

The  quantity  of  land  sold  to  the  company,  and 
the  terms  on  which  it  was  sold,  are  given  as  follows 
in  the  evidence  of  John  Radenhurst,  chief  clerk  of 
the  Surveyor-General's  office  in  Upper  Canada, 
who  appeared  before  Buller's  Commission. 

'  The  company  at  first  contracted  for  the  pur- 
chase of  1,384,413  acres  of  Crown  Reserves  and 
829,430  of  Clergy  Reserves  at  3s.  6d.  per  acre.  The 
Government  were,  however,  unable  to  perform 
their  contract,  so  far  as  related  to  the  Clergy 
Reserves,  and,  as  a  substitute,  the  company  were 
aUowed  to  select  1,100,000  acres  in  a  block  on  the 
shores  of  Lake  Huron,  at  the  same  price  for  the 
whole  as  was  to  have  been  paid  for  800,000  acres 
of  Clergy  Reserves,  making  the  whole  of  their  pur- 
chase 2,484,413  acres  ;  the  purchase  money  was 
to  be  paid  in  the  following  annual  instalments,  viz. 
In  the  year  ending  July  1827,  £20,000;  1828, 
£15,000;  1829,  £15,000;  1830,  £15,000;  1831, 
£16,000;  1832,  £17,000;  1833,  £18,000;  1834, 
£19,000  ;  1835,  £20,000  ;  and  £20,000  a  year  for 
the  next  seven  years.  The  company  was  to  be  at 
liberty  to  expend  one  third  part  of  the  purchase 
money  of  the  block  of  1,100,000  acres  in  public 
works  and  improvements  within  such  block  of 
land,  such  as  canals,  bridges,  roads,  churches, 
wharfs,  and  school  houses,  &c.' 

John  Gait,  the  Scotch  novelist,  had  much  to  do 
with  the  inception  and  the  early  work  of  the  Canada 
Company.  He  was  the  founder  of  Guelph,  and  the 
town  of  Gait  bears  his  name.  The  main  sphere  of 
the  company's  operations  was  the  Huron  district, 
due  west  of  Toronto,  between  Lakes  Huron  and 




Ontario ;  and  undoubtedly  much  was  done  to 
develop  and  settle  this  part  of  Upper  Canada. 
In  1856  an  Imperial  Act  was  passed  giving  facilities 
for  winding  up  the  company ;  but  when  the  Colonial 
Land  and  Emigration  Commissioners  issued  their 
last  colonization  circular  in  1877,  they  reported 
that  the  company  had  still  400,000  acres  to  sell  or 
lease.  A  further  Imperial  Act  was  passed  in  1881, 
and  the  Company  is  still  in  active  operation. 

The  British  American  Land  Company  made  an 
agreement  with  Stanley,  afterwards  Lord  Derby, 
then  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies,  on  the 
3rd  of  December  1833.  Under  this  agreement  the 
Government  sold  to  the  company  847,661  acres  in 
the  eastern  townships  for  £120,000,  payment  being 
at  the  rate  of  3s.  Qd.  an  acre  for  Crown  reserves 
and  surveyed  land,  and  3s.  for  unsurveyed  land. 
The  company  was  incorporated  by  Royal  Charter 
on  the  20th  of  March  1834,  and  the  charter  was 
confirmed  by  Act  of  Parliament  dated  the  22nd  of 
May  1834.  /The  charter  extended  to  the  whole  of 
British  North  America,  including  Newfoundland, 
and  the  company  was  empowered  to  hold  lands 
purchased  from  the  Crown  or  from  private  persons 
up  to  three  millions  of  acres  at  any  one  time  in  the 
British  North  American  provinces.  One  section 
of  the  Act  authorized  the  commutation  of  any 
feudal  rights  on  lands  acquired  under ,  seigniorial 
tenure  into  free  and  common  soccage./  The  com- 
pany's operations  were,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  confined 
to  the  eastern  townships,  where  the  actual  amount 
of  land  acquired  from  the  Crown  seems  not  to  have 
been  quite  as  large  as  was  specified  in  the  first 


contract  with  the  Government.  The  colonization 
circular  of  1877,  to  which  reference  has  been  made 
above,  states  that  the  company  purchased  from 
the  Crown  in  the  eastern  townships,  where  its 
head-quarters  were  at  Sherbrooke,  about  767,000 
acres,  and  that  the  directors  were  then  offering  for 
sale  nearly  500,000  acres.  The  company  met  with 
bitter  opposition  from  the  French  Canadian  maj  ority 
in  the  Quebec  Legislature,  and  repeated  demands 
were  made  that  the  charter  should  be  cancelled 
and  the  Act  repealed.  The  introduction  of  British 
immigrants,  which  was  welcome  in  Upper  Canada, 
was  resented  by  the  French  of  Lower  Canada  as 
part  of  a  policy  designed  to  denationalize  the 
province.  It  was  contended  that  the  Executive 
Government  had  no  right  to  dispose  of  the  waste 
lands  of  the  province  without  the  authority  of  the 
Legislature ;  and  that,  in  the  sale  to  the  company 
of  so  large  a  tract  of  land,  the  rights  of  the  Canadian 
people  had  been  disregarded  in  favour  of  mono- 
polists in  the  United  Kingdom,  and  the  rights  of 
cultivators  in  favour  of  landlords.  There  were  two 
Acts  of  Parliament  which  were  constant  sources  of 
complaint  against  the  Imperial  Government  by  the 
Quebec  Legislature,  both  connected  with  land- 
one  was  the  Tenures  Act,  the  other  was  the  Act 
which  confirmed  the  charter  of  the  British  American 
Land  Company.  The  Imperial  Government,  how- 
ever, refused  to  entertain  any  proposals  which 
involved  repudiating  their  contract,  and  the  com- 
pany is  still  in  existence,  working  under  the  pro- 
visions of  successive  Imperial  Acts,  the  latest  of 
which  was  passed  in  1894. 


A  troublesome  and  long-standing  question  con- 
nected with  land  in  Canada  was  that  of  claims  to 
land  by  those  who  had  served  in  the  militia  in  the 
war  of  1812.  So  far  as  Lower  Canada  was  con- 
cerned, this  question  formed  the  subject  of  a 
special  Report  by  Charles  Buller,  which  is  given  in 
App.  A  (vol.  iii) ;  and  Lord  Durham  embodied  in  his 
own  main  Report  (ii.  225-30)  the  instructions  which 
he  gave  to  the  commissioners  whom  he  appointed 
to  settle  the  claims,  after  receiving  Buller's  recom- 
mendations. Some  time  after  the  war  of  1812, 
free  grants  of  land  in  the  Lower  Province  were 
promised  by  Royal  Instructions  to  militiamen  who 
had  served  in  the  war,  the  boon  being  intended  for 
the  six  battalions  of  embodied  militia,  as  opposed 
to  what  was  known  as  the  sedentary  militia, 
though  some  of  the  latter  also  preferred  claims. 
The  grants  were  to  range  from  100  acres  to  the 
privates  to  1,200  to  the  commanding  officers. 
They  were  to  be  made  on  condition  of  settlement ; 
but  sufficient  facilities  for  settlement  were  not 
given,  and  the  land  claims  were  in  large  measure 
disposed  of  by  the  militiamen  to  land  speculators. 
There  resulted,  in  Buller's  words,  'the  maximum 
of  injury  to  the  province  with  the  minimum  of 
benefit  to  the  militiamen ' ;  and,  on  his  recom- 
mendation, Lord  Durham  appointed  a  board  of 
commissioners  to  investigate  the  claims,  and  to  pay 
off  those  claimants  who  had  made  good  their  title 
by  orders  representing  the  money  value  of  the 
land  to  which  they  were  entitled,  at  the  average 
selling  price  of  Crown  lands  during  the  last  ten 
years.  There  had  been  similar  trouble  in  Upper 


Canada  in  the  years  after  the  war  ;  and  John 
Richards,  who  had  been  specially  deputed  by  the 
Imperial  Government  in  1830  to  visit  the  British 
North  American  provinces  and  make  a  Report  in 
connexion  with  Waste  Lands  and  Emigration,1 
wrote  : 

'  The  Province  of  Upper  Canada  appears  to  have 
been  considered  by  Government  as  a  land  fund, 
to  reward  meritorious  servants.  Lots  are  given  to 
reduced  officers  ;  say,  1,200  acres  to  a  Colonel, 
1,000  to  a  major,  800  to  a  captain,  500  to  a  lieu- 
tenant, 200  to  a  serjeant,  and  100  to  a  disbanded 
soldier,  and  to  the  United  Empire  Loyalists,  their 
sons  and  daughters,  200  acres  each.' 

The  interest  of  the  matter  lies  in  noting  not 
merely  or  mainly  the  abuses  which  arose  from 
making  free  grants  of  land  to  disbanded  soldiers, 
but  rather  the  great  part  which  the  practice  played 
in  the  history  of  Canada.  Thus  in  the  days  of 
Louis  XIV,  when  Colbert  and  Talon  were  busy 
colonizing  Canada,  discharged  soldiers  of  the 
famous  Carignan  Salieres  regiment  were  planted 
out  on  the  land  under  feudal  tenure.  After  the 
cession  of  Canada  to  Great  Britain,  by  the  Royal 
Proclamation  of  1763,  grants  of  land  were  offered 
to  soldiers  and  sailors  who  had  served  in  America 
in  the  previous  war  on  conditions  of  settlement ; 
similar  grants  were  offered  after  the  war  of  American 
Independence.  It  was  in  principle  a  good  and 
sound  method  of  rewarding  those  who  had  fought 
for  their  country,  and  attaching  to  the  soil  colonists 

1  The  report  was  made  in  January  1831,  and  laid  before  the  House 
of  Commons  in  March  1832,  No.  334.  See  p.  4. 


who  had  shown  that  they  could  defend  it.  But 
in  the  case  in  point,  the  militiamen  had  already 
their  homes  in  the  land,  and  there  was  no  question 
of  attracting  them  to  remain  in  it  as  settlers. 
Moreover,  as  Buller  pointed  out,  in  Lower  Canada 
'  the  majority  of  the  militia  were  French  Canadians, 
who  have  not  hitherto  been,  and  are  not  now,  an 
emigrating  people ' ;  the  result,  therefore,  of  giving 
them  grants  of  land  would  at  best  only  have  trans- 
ferred them  reluctantly  from  one  district  of  the 
province  to  another,  while  the  actual  outcome  was 
to  make  the  land  claims  the  subject  of  traffic  and 

Various  other  questions  connected  with  lands  in 
the  two  Canadas  might  be  noted.  There  was 
a  difficulty  caused  by  squatters  who  had  settled 
on  the  waste  lands  of  the  Crown  without  any  legal 
title.  Their  case  is  referred  to  in  Buller's  Report, 
and  Lord  Durham  met  or  proposed  to  meet  it  by 
naming  a  date,  and  giving  to  all  bona  fide  settlers, 
who  had  established  themselves  on  Crown  lands 
without  title  before  that  time,  a  right  of  pre- 
emption at  the  price  which  had  been  fixed  for 
Crown  lands  in  their  neighbourhood.  He  wrote 
a  separate  dispatch  on  this  matter,  and  it  formed 
the  subject  of  later  correspondence  between  Lord 
John  Russell  and  Poulett  Thomson.  There  was 
again  the  subject  of  the  lands  assigned  to  the  Six 
Nation  Indians  in  Upper  Canada  ;  but,  without 
further  reference  to  these  specific  questions,  it  is 
time  to  comment  upon  the  general  subject  of  Crown 
lands  in  Canada,  and  upon  Buller's  scheme,  which 
was  Wakefield's  scheme,  and  which  Lord  Durham 


adopted  for  dealing  with  the  lands  in  the  public 

Buller's,    or    rather    Wakefield's,    scheme    was 
designed  partly  to  remedy  the  evils  which  had 
resulted  from  the  profusion  of  land  grants  in  the 
past ;    partly  to  provide  a  sound  working  system 
for  disposing  of  public  lands  in  the  future.    In  the 
past  the  Government   had   parted   with   a   vast 
amount  of  land  to  private  owners,  with  the  result 
that  much  was  locked  up  and  uncultivated.     In 
order  to  bring  these  lands  into  cultivation,  Buller 
proposed  that  a  tax  at  the  rate  of  2d.  an  acre 
should  be  levied  upon  all  wild  lands,  and  that  the 
proceeds   of   the   tax   should   be   applied,   either 
directly  or  by  being   made   part   security  for   a 
development  loan,   to   making  roads,   improving 
communications,   and  facilitating  the   settlement 
of  the  country.    Proprietors  were  to  be  allowed  to 
pay  the  tax  in  land,  such  land  *  to  be  taken  by  the 
Government  at  the  rate  of  4s.  per  acre,  in  lots  of 
not  less  than  100  acres '  ( App.  B,  iii.  88).    Thus  the 
Government  would  recover  some  of  the  land  which 
had  been  alienated  in  the  past,  and  the  proprietors 
who  paid  the  tax  would  be  recouped  for  losing 
some  of  their  land,  by  the  increased  value  which 
would  accrue  from  the  proceeds  of  the  tax  to  the 
lands  which  they  still  retained  in  their  own  hands. 
The  tax  was  to  be  imposed  and  its  continuance 
guaranteed  by  a  central  authority,  the  Imperial 
Parliament.    As  regards  the  future,  BuUer  recom- 
mended that  all  public  lands  should  be  sold  not  by 
auction,  but  at  a  fixed  price  ;  that  this  fixed  price 
should  be  uniform,  one  and  the  same  in  all  parts 


of  British  North  America,  and  that  the  money 
should  be  paid  at  the  time  of  sale.  The  price,  he 
suggested,  might  be  10<s.  an  acre,  though  he  doubted 
whether  it  was  not  too  low.  '  Even  at  that  price, 
there  is  great  reason  to  fear  that  labouring  emi- 
grants may  be  induced  to  become  purchasers  before 
they  have  either  the  requisite  capital  or  knowledge 
to  qualify  them  for  the  position  they  will  thus 
assume.  The  produce  of  the  fund,  also,  will  be 
scarcely  adequate  to  the  objects  to  which  it  ought 
to  be  applied,  the  construction  of  public  works 
and  the  promotion  of  emigration'  (iii.  113).  He 
named  the  sum  in  question  as  a  compromise,  noting 
that  the  neighbourhood  of  the  United  States 
must  be  an  element  in  determining  the  price,  and 
that  the  question  therefore  was  perhaps  one  to  be 
left  to  and  settled  by  the  authority  to  which  the 
administration  of  the  public  lands  would  be  con- 
tided.  He  recommended  that  no  limit  should  be 
placed  to  the  amount  of  land  which  any  one  man 
might  buy ;  that  all  reserves  of  every  kind,  in- 
cluding the  clergy  reserves,  should  be  thrown  open 
to  purchase  and  settlement ;  and  that  '  public 
land  in  all  the  North  American  colonies  should 
be  open  to  purchase  by  all  persons  to  whatever 
country  they  may  belong,  requiring,  if  necessary, 
that  the  subject  of  a  foreign  power  should  at  the 
time  of  purchase  take  the  oath  of  allegiance ' 
(iii.  108).  This  provision  he  considered  to  be 
especially  desirable,  in  order  to  encourage  settlers 
from  the  United  States ;  and  both  he  and  Lord 
Durham  criticized,  with  some  inaccuracy,1  the 

1  See  note  1  to  ii.  172. 

1352-1  N 


measures  which  had  been  taken  in  Upper  Canada 
after  the  war  of  1812,  to  prevent  land  being  held 
by  American  citizens,  for  Buller  laid  great  stress 
on  the  value  to  Canada  of  American  settlers— 
*  none  form  such  efficient  pioneers  of  civilization.' 
The  funds  derived  from  land  sales,  and  from 
licences  for  cutting  timber,  in  addition  to  the  pro- 
ceeds from  the  tax  on  wild  lands  belonging  to 
private  proprietors,  were  to  be  applied  to  making 
roads,  railways,  and  canals,  and  to  introducing 
emigrants,  who  were  rather  to  work  for  wages  on 
first  arrival  than  to  take  up  land  for  themselves  ; 
and  at  the  outset  loans  were  to  be  raised  upon  the 
security  of  the  funds,  partly  for  public  works  and 
partly  for  emigration.     The  whole  scheme  was  to 
be  embodied  in  an. Act  of  Parliament ;   and  when 
the  principles  had  been  laid  down  and  ratified  by 
law,  the  practical  working  was  to  be  entrusted  to 
a  central  commission  in  the  United  Kingdom,  with 
subordinate  commissioners  in  the  North  American 
colonies,  all  acting  under  the  supreme  control  of 
the  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies. 

Similarly,  guided  by  Wakefield,  as  Lord  Durham 
and  Buller  were  guided,  the  Select  Committee  of 
1836  had  recommended,  with  regard  to  the  Aus- 
tralian and  West  Indian  colonies  and  the  Cape, 
'  that  the  whole  of  the  arrangements  connected 
with  the  sale  of  land,  including  both  the  price 
and  the  precise  mode  of  sale,  should  be  placed 
under  the  charge  of  a  Central  Land  Board,  resi- 
dent in  London,  and  made  responsible  either  to 
some  existing  department  in  the  Government, 
or  to  Parliament  directly,  as  may  be  deemed 



expedient '.  The  outcome  was  the  appointment 
in  1840  of  the  Board  of  Land  and  Emigration 
Commissioners,  who  worked  in  subordination  to 
the  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies  and  the 
Lords  of  the  Treasury. 

Thus  the  public  lands  in  British  North  America 
were  to  be  administered  upon  a  definite  system, 
for  the  benefit  alike  of  the  colonies  and  of  the 
mother  country ;  but  the  authority,  under  which  the 
system  was  to  come  into  being,  was  the  Imperial 
Parliament  and  not  the  Colonial  Legislatures ;  and, 
though  .Reports  of  the  proceedings  of  the  com- 
missioners were  to  be  laid  before  the  Colonial  Legis- 
latures as  well  as  before  the  Imperial  Parliament,  the 
Executive  was  to  be  directly  responsible  not  to  any 
colonial  authority  but  to  the  Secretary  of  State. 

Further  and  separate  reference  will  be  made 
below  to  emigration  and  improvement  of  means  of 
communication,  to  which  the  funds  derived  from 
public  lands  were  to  be  applied ;  but  it  will  be 
borne  in  mind  that  these  two  subjects  were  from 
Lord  Durham's  and  Buller's  point  of  view  insepar- 
ably connected  with  the  disposal  of  public  lands, 
and  were  an  integral  part  of  a  great  scheme  of 
colonization.  Towards  the  end  of  his  Report 
(ii.  327-31)  Lord  Durham  summarizes  the  whole. 
On  the  '  management  of  public  lands  '  he  writes, 
'  The  plan,  which  I  have  framed  for  the  manage- 
ment of  the  public  lands,  being  intended  to  pro- 
mote the  common  advantage  of  the  colonies  and 
of  the  mother  country,  I  therefore  propose  that 
the  entire  administration  of  it  should  be  confided 
to  an  Imperial  authority.'  Then,  passing  on  to 

N  2 


the  '  measures  to  promote  emigration ',  he  says, 
'In  conjunction  with  the  measures  suggested  for 
disposing  of  public  lands,  and  remedying  the  evils 
occasioned  by  past  mismanagement  in  that  depart- 
ment, they  form  a  plan  of  colonization  to  which 
I  attach  the  highest  importance.  The  objects,  at 
least,  with  which  the  plan  has  been  formed,  are 
to  provide  large  funds  for  emigration,  and  for 
creating  and  improving  means  of  communication 
throughout  the  provinces.  .  .  .'  Then,  reviewing 
the  prospective  '  benefits  of  a  judicious  system  of 
colonization  ',  he  lays  down  that  *  it  is  by  a  sound 
system  of  colonization  that  we  can  render  these 
extensive  regions  available  for  the  benefit  of  the 
British  people.  .  .  .  The  experiment  of  keeping 
colonies  and  governing  them  well,  ought  at  least 
to  have  a  trial,  ere  we  abandon  for  ever  the  vast 
dominion  which  might  supply  the  wants  of  our 
surplus  population,  and  raise  up  millions  of  fresh 
consumers  of  our  manufactures,  and  producers  of 
a  supply  for  our  wants.' 

It  has  been  noted  that  Lord  Durham  ANUS 
a  strong  and  convinced  Imperialist,  and  that,  in 
the  matter  of  public  lands,  he  kept  his  eyes  fixed 
on  the  mother  country  at  least  as  much  as  on  the 
colony.  This  point  of  view  was  characteristic  of 
the  group  of  public  men  to  which  he  and  Buller 
and  Gibbon  Wakefield  belonged.  They  were,  in 
modern  phraseology,  Radicals,  but  the  reverse  of 
Little  Englanders ;  and  their  attitude  will  be  better 
appreciated,  if  it  is  contrasted  with  the  views  on 
public  lands  in  the  colonies  which  are  contained 
in  Cornewall  Lewis's  Government  of  Dependencies, 


published  in  1841,  two  years  after  Lord  Durham's 
Report  was  given  to  the  press  and  to  Parliament. 
In  the  chapter  on  *  The  advantages  derived  by 
the  dominant  country  from  its  supremacy  over 
a  dependency ',  Lewis  l  discusses  the  advantage 
accruing  to  the  people  of  a  dominant  country 
from  the  possession  of  a  dependency,  '  in  the 
facilities  for  emigration  and  for  the  acquisition 
and  cultivation  of  land  which  it  may  afford  to 
them ' ;  and  he  argues  that  '  the  system  of  defray- 
ing the  expenses  of  emigrants  from  the  proceeds 
of  the  sale  of  public  lands  in  the  colony  does  not 
necessarily  suppose  that  the  new  settlement  is  a 
dependency  of  the  country  which  sends  out  the 
emigrants  ',  that  '  there  is  nothing  in  the  colonial 
relation  which  implies  that  the  colony  must  be 
a  dependency  of  the  mother  country,  nor  generally 
is  it  expedient  that  such  a  relation  should  exist, 
even  in  the  case  of  a  newly  founded  settlement.' 
Lord  Durham  had  no  sympathy  with  this  point  of 
view.  He  wished  to  give  responsible  government 
to  Canada,  and  so  far  to  remove  it  from  the 
category  of  dependencies  ;  but  at  the  same  time 
he  would  have  emphatically  rejected  the  reasoning 
which  treated  the  political  connexion  between 
Great  Britain  and  Canada,  in  the  matter  of  public 
lands  and  emigration,  as  of  no  real  advantage  to 
either  party. 

Sir  William  Molesworth  spoke  in  high  praise  of 
the  passages  in  Lord  Durham's  Report  which  refer 
to  public  lands,  and  of  Buller's  special  Report  on 
the  subject.  It  is  true  that  no  part  of  the  whole 

1  1891  ed.,  pp.  225-9. 


inquiry  was  more  detailed,  more  elaborated,  or 
more  complete,  but,  in  the  light  of  subsequent 
experience,  it  must  be  added  that  no  part  was  so 
academic  or  so  divorced  from  living  realities.  On 
paper  the  principles  which  Wakefield  laid  down 
were  sound  and  broadly  based  ;  his  reasoning  was 
logical  and  conclusive  ;  and  indirectly  his  doc- 
trines produced  no  little  practical  good.  But  new 
countries  and  the  English  race  do  not  lend  them- 
selves to  cut-and-dried  systems.  English  emigrants 
go  out  to  live  as  they  think  best,  and  not  as  they 
are  ordered,  and  colonization  and  uniformity  have 
little  in  common.  The  success  which  Lord  Durham 
credited  to  the  Wakefield  system  was  nowhere 
attained  ;  indeed  the  system  was  never  fuUy  and 
consistently  tried  ;  and  whatever  scope  there  may 
have  been  for  its  application  in  Australia,  in 
British  North  America  the  field  was  already  too 
much  occupied,  the  conditions  which  past  history 
had  evolved  were  too  various,  to  make  a  uniform 
system  for  all  the  British  North  American  pro- 
vinces even  a  remote  possibility.  Uniformity  was 
impossible ;  and  even  more  impossible,  in  the  light 
of  the  political  controversies  which  had  taken 
place,  more  especially  in  Lower  Canada,  was  the 
proposed  combination  with  the  grant  of  respon- 
sible government  of  Imperial  control  over  the 
public  lands. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  when,  in  1831,  the  pro- 
ceeds of  the  taxes  which  were  raised  under  the  Quebec 
Revenue  Act  were  handed  over  to  the  Legislatures 
of  the  two  Canadian  provinces,  the  casual  and 
territorial  revenues  of  the  Crown  were  still  reserved ; 

CHAP,  v  FUJ3L1C  LANDS  183 

that  the  control  of  these  revenues  formed  one  of 
the  main  issues  between  the  Imperial  Government 
and  the  Legislature  of  Lower  Canada;  and  that 
the  position  taken  up  by  the  Imperial  Government 
was,  roughly,  that  these  funds  would  be  handed 
over  to  the  local  Legislature  when  certain  con- 
ditions had  been  complied  with,  principal  among 
which  was  the  provision  of  a  Civil  List.  In  February 
1831  Lord  Aylmer,  then  Governor-General,  in 
a  message  to  the  Quebec  House  of  Assembly, 
classified  the  casual  and  territorial  revenues  of  the 
Crown  under  the  following  heads  * : — 

(1)  Rents,  Jesuits'  estates. 

(2)  Rent  of  the  King's  Posts. 

1  See  the  House  of  Commons  Paper  of  July  15,  1831,  Canada  Crown 
Revenues.  These  funds  were  enumerated  by  Mr.  John  Davidson, 
Commissioner  of  Crown  Lands  in  Lower  Canada,  in  his  evidence  before 
Buller's  Commission,  as  follows  : — 

Of  what  does  the  landed  property  of  the  Crown  in  this  Province 
consist  ? 

All  the  estates  which  were  held  by  the  King  of  France  at  the  time  of 
the  conquest,  which  may  be  arranged  as  follows  : 

1st.  Certain  fiefs  in  the  city  of  Quebec  and  town  of  Three  Rivers, 
whereof  the  censitaires  held  immediately  under  the  Crown. 

2nd.  The  forges  of  St.  Maurice,  which  were  established  by  the  old 
French  Government  and  have  been  let  for  different  terms  to  private 

3rd.  The  King's  trading  posts,  which  signifies  that  portion  of  the  Pro- 
vince of  Lower  Canada  between  the  settled  lands  on  the  north  bank  of 
the  St.  Lawrence  and  the  land  held  under  the  Charter  of  the  Hudson's 
Bay  Company,  and  which  tract  is  held  by  that  Company  under  a  lease 
that  secures  to  them  the  sole  right  of  hunting,  fishing,  and  trading  on 
that  territory.  The  lease  expires  in  1842. 

4th.  The  King's  Wharves  in  Quebec,  which  were  originally  formed  by 
the  old  French  Government,  and  have  been  improved  by  the  British 
Government,  and  are  now  let  upon  lease  to  individuals. 

5th.  The  estates  held  at  the  time  of  the  conquest  by  the  late  order  of 
Jesuits,  which  upon  the  extinction  of  that  order  in  the  Province  were 
reserved  by  the  Crown,  and  which  consist  of  extensive  seigniories  and 


(3)  Forges  of  St.  Maurice. 

(4)  Rent  of  King's  Wharf. 

(5)  Droit  de  Quint.1 

(6)  Lods  et  Ventes.1 

(7)  Land  fund. 

(8)  Timber  fund. 

The  average  receipts  from  these  sources  in  Lower 
Canada  amounted  at  this  date  to  no  more  than 
upwards  of  £7,000  per  annum,  whereas  the  revenues 
which  were  raised  under  the  Quebec  Revenue  Act, 
and  which  in  this  year,  1831,  were  handed  over  to 
the  Quebec  Legislature,  were  estimated,  on  an  aver- 
age, at  £38,000  per  annum.  In  other  words,  the 
public  lands  in  Lower  Canada,  even  after  1830, 
only  formed  one  item,  or,  including  timber,  two 
items  in  a  list  of  Crown  receipts  the  sum  total  of 
which  was  not  more  than  about  one-fifth  of  the  sum 
which  had  been  derived  from  taxes  levied  under 
Imperial  Acts,  and  which  the  Imperial  Govern- 
ment had  controlled  prior  to  1831.  In  specifying 
the  items  of  the  casual  and  territorial  revenues, 
Lord  Aylmer,  as  already  stated,  insisted  that  these 

of  other  property,  including  buildings  in  the  city  of  Quebec  and  town 
of  Three  Rivers. 

6th.  All  the  beaches  and  water  lots  upon  all  navigable  rivers. 

The  beaches  consist  of  the  land  on  botli  sides  of  the  rivers  between 
the  highest  and  lowest  water -mark,  and  the  water  lots  extend  from  the 
lowest  water -mark  into  deep  water. 

7th.  The  whole  of  the  waste  and  unappropriated  land  within  tlio 

In  addition  to  this  the  Crown  is  entitled  to  a  mutation  fine  upon  the 
sale  of  seigniories,  varying  from  the  maille  d'or,  which  is  a  nominal 
acknowledgement,  to  one-fifth  part  of  the  purchase,  which  is  the  more 
common  fine,  and  payable  in  either  case  before  the  seignior  is  admitted 
to  perform  fealty  and  homage. 

1  Tiie  '  Quint '  and  the  '  Lods  et  Ventes '  were  mutation  fines,  the 
former  paid  by  the  seignior,  the  latter  by  the  censitaire.  See  Munro's 
Seigniorial  System,  in  Canaia. 


revenues  were  the  property  of  the  Crown.  '  They 
stand  upon  a  perfectly  different  ground  from  taxes, 
properly  so  called.  They  are  enjoyed  by  the  Crown, 
by  virtue  of  the  Royal  Prerogative,  and  are  neither 
more  nor  less  than  the  proceeds  of  landed  property, 
which  legally  and  constitutionally  belongs  to  the 
Sovereign  on  the  throne.'  This  account  of  the 
funds  would  have  been  strictly  accurate,  if  it  had 
been  given  before  William  IV  came  to  the  throne  ; 
but  it  was  overlooked  at  the  time  when  Lord 
Aylmer  addressed  the  Quebec  Legislature,  and 
apparently  it  was  more  or  less  overlooked  for  many 
years  afterwards,1  that  by  the  Civil  List  Act  which 
was  passed  when  King  William  IV  became  king, 
and  again  by  the  Civil  List  Act  of  Queen  Victoria, 
all  the  casual  revenues  of  the  Crown,  whether 
within  or  without  the  United  Kingdom,  were  made 
part  of  the  Consolidated  Fund.  Thus  in  1831,  and 
afterwards,  the  casual  and  territorial  revenues  of 
the  Crown  in  British  North  America,  including  the 
waste  lands,  were  not  the  property  of  the  Crown, 
but  the  property  of  the  Imperial  Government.  The 
confusion  on  the  subject  was  finally  cleared  up 
in  the  year  1852,  when  the  Imperial  Parliament 
passed  '  An  Act  to  remove  doubts  as  to  the  lands 
and  casual  revenues  of  the  Crown  in  the  colonies 
and  foreign  possessions  of  Her  Majesty.' 

Buller,  in  his  Report  (iii.  37),  spoke  of  the  waste 
lands  as  '  in  name  the  property  of  the  Crown ' ; 
and  Lord  Durham  wrote  (ii.  209)  that  '  the  whole 

1  The  point,  however,  was  appreciated  by  Lord  Gosford  and  his 
fellow  commissioners,  and  noticed  in  the  first  of  their  reports,  which 
dealt  with  the  Crown  revenues  in  Lower  Canada.  See  the  House  of 
Commons  Paper  of  February  20,  1837,  No.  50,  p.  12. 


of  the  public  lands  have  been  deemed  the  property 
of  the  Crown ' ;  but  there  is  little  or  no  indication 
in  Buller's  Report  or  in  Lord  Durham's  that  these 
waste  lands,  to  which  they  attached  such  great 
importance,  and  from  which  under  proper  manage- 
ment they,  hoped  so  much,  had  been  included  and 
more  or  less  hidden  away  in  the  list  of  casual 
and  territorial  revenues  of  the  Crown :  and  Lord 
Durham  makes  no  specific  mention  of  public  lands 
when,  in  referring  to  the  sources  of  public  revenue 
in  Lower  Canada,  he  writes :  '  With  the  exception 
of  the  small  amount  now  derived  from  the  casual 
and  territorial  funds,  the  public  revenue  of  Lower 
Canada  is  derived  from  duties  imposed  partly  by 
Imperial  and  partly  by  provincial  statutes '  (ii.  141). 
Lord  Glenelg,  on  the  contrary,  had  fully  appre- 
ciated the  position,  when  in  his  instructions  to 
Lord  Gosford  and  his  colleagues  in  July  1835,  he 
indicated  that  while  he  was  prepared  to  hand  over 
to  the  Quebec  Legislature  the  casual  and  terri- 
torial revenues  in  return  for  an  adequate  Civil  List, 
the  concession  would  include  the  right  of  appro- 
priating the  revenues  arising  from  Crown  lands, 
but  would  not  include  the  management  of  those 
lands  which  would  be  retained  in  the  hands  of 
the  Executive  Government.  On  this  basis  Lord 
Gosford  and  his  fellow  commissioners  made  their 
recommendations;  but  Lord  Durham  and  Buller 
practically  ignored  what  had  gone  before,  and  dis- 
cussed the  question  of  the  disposal  of  public  lands 
very  much  as  though  the  time-honoured  dispute 
as  to  the  control  of  the  territorial  revenues  of  the 
Crown  had  never  existed.  The  result  was  that 


whereas  in  Lower  Canada  these  revenues  were  to 
have  been  handed  over  to  the  local  Legislature  in  I 
return  for  the  grant  of  a  Civil  List,  Lord  Durham 
proposed  to  withhold  from  the  United  Legislature 
of  the  two  Canadas  both  the  management  of  public 
lands  and  the  funds  accruing  from  land  sales  and 
land  taxes,  and  further  to  insist  '  on  the  conces- 
sion of  an  adequate  Civil  List'  (ii.  327)  as  the 
price  of  giving  up  to  the  Legislature  the  remaining 
revenues  of  the  Crown.  The  recommendation  was 
a  curious  pendant  to  the  grant  of  responsible 
government.  While  anxious  to  give  free  institu- 
tions, to  create  a  national  spirit  and  a  national  j 
pride,  while  pleading  the  cause  of  self-government 
with  rare  eloquence  and  cogent  reasoning,  Lordx 
Durham,  at  the  same  time  and  in  the  same  scheme, 
withheld  from  the  proposed  national  Legislature 
more  than  the  Imperial  Government  for  years  had 
contemplated  withholding. 

It  was  in  no  narrow  or  timid  spirit  that  he  put 
forward  his  scheme.  He  was  broad-minded  in 
withholding  as  in  granting ;  he  withheld,  because 
in  the  matter  of  public  lands  he  conceived  that 
Imperial  interests  were  at  stake ;  but  his  recom- 
mendation was  impossible  in  view  of  what  had 
gone  before  in  Canada,  and  more  impossible  when 
coupled,  as  it  was,  with  the  grant  of  responsible 
government.  To  ignore  in  this  matter  previous 
political  controversies  and  previous  conditional 
promises  was  only  to  invite  a  recrudescence  of 
bitterness  against  the  Imperial  Government  and 
the  mother  country.  To  give  free  institutions,  but 
at  the  same  time  to  withhold  the  control  of  the 


soil  and  the  revenues  arising  from  it,  was  little 
better  than  a  contradiction  in  terms. 

Hence  it  must  be  summed  up  that,  however 
broad  was  Lord  Durham's  conception  of  the  right- 
ful disposal  of  public  lands,  however  suggestive 
was  the  form  in  which  his  views  were  embodied, 
under  the  actual  conditions  of  place  and  time, 
and  under  the  political  conditions  which  he  pro- 
posed to  create,  his  scheme  was  wholly  imprac- 


In  an  interesting  and  often  quoted  Parliamen- 
tary Paper,  to  which  Lord  Durham  refers  (ii.  115), 
and  which  was  laid  before  the  House  of  Commons 
in  March  1832,  entitled  '  Copy  of  the  Report  of 
Mr.  Richards  to  the  Colonial  Secretary  respecting 
the  Waste  Lands  in  the  Canadas  and  Emigration  ', 
the  author  of  the  report  writes  that  '  much  was 
said  to  me  in  the  colonies  upon  the  two  questions 
of  spontaneous  and  regulated  emigration  ;  and  the 
great  evil  of  which  they  complain  was  the  entire 
absence  of  wholesome  regulation.  I  feel,  therefore, 
fully  convinced,  whatever  course  may  be  ultimately 
adopted,  even  if  the  present  loose  mode  is  to  go 
on,  that  the  necessity  of  reducing  it  to  a  system 
will  be  forced  upon  us  V  In  the  interval  between 
Mr.  Richards'  visit  to  British  North  America  and 
Lord  Durham's  mission,  something  had  been  done 
by  the  Government  in  the  direction  of  safeguard- 
ing emigrants,  including  the  passing  in  1835  of  an 
amended  Passengers'  Act ;  but,  according  to 

1  No.  334.     Canada,  Waste  Lands,  p.  23.     See  above,  p.  174. 


Durham  and  Buller,  who  as  disciples  of  Wakefield 
were  entirely  in  favour  of  '  systematic  emigra- 
tion ',  very  much  more  remained  to  be  done,  and 
the  parts  of  their  reports  which  deal  specially  with 
emigration  are  mainly  devoted  to  pointing  out 
existing  evils,  and  emphasizing  the  need  of  further 
regulation  by  Government.  Lord  Durham  con- 
cludes his  comments  on  the  subject  with  the 
remark,  '  All  the  gentlemen,  whose  evidence  I  have 
last  quoted,  are  warm  advocates  of  systematic 
emigration.  I  object,  along  with  them,  only  to 
such  emigration  as  now  takes  place — without  fore- 
thought, preparation,  method,  or  system  of  any 
kind '  (ii.  259).  In  this,  as  in  other  respects,  Durham 
had  110  sympathy  with  the  coming  Manchester 
school.  He  believed  in  Government  intervention, 
and,  as  will  be  further  noted,  both  he  and  Buller 
criticized  the  view  which  the  Government  Com- 
mission 011  Emigration  in  1831  had  upheld,  that 
the  direct  interference  of  the  State  was  not  required 
in  connexion  with  emigration  to  British  North 

The  close  of  the  Napoleonic  wars  was  the 
beginning  of  the  modern  history  of  emigration 
from  the  British  Isles.  The  Report  of  May  1838, 
to  which  Durham  and  Buller  refer,  and  which  was 
written  by  Mr.,  afterwards  Sir  T.  F.  Elliot,  in  his 
capacity  of  Agent-General  for  Emigration  from 
the  United  Kingdom,  states  that  for  the  first  ten 
years  after  the  Peace  the  average  annual  number 
of  emigrants  to  Canada  was  about  9,000,  that  for 

1  Sec  ii.  253-j  of  Lord  Durham's  Report  and  note,  and  Buller's 
Report,  Appendix  B,  iii.  119. 


the  five  years  ending  with  1831  the  average  was 
20,000,  and  that  in  the  year  1831  over  50,000 
passed  through  the  port  of  Quebec.  Between  1816 
and  1834  the  emigration  from  the  United  Kingdom 
to  British  North  America  was  as  a  rule  much 
larger  than  to  the  United  States,  but  with  the 
year  1835  the  tide  turned  and  ran  strongly  in 
favour  of  the  United  States,  where  the  Irish  now 
went  by  preference,  having  previously  emigrated 
or  been  assisted  to  emigrate  largely  to  British 
North  America.1  The  first  Imperial  grants  in  aid 
of  emigration  seem  to  have  been  made  in  the  years 
1821,  1823,  and  1825,  to  assist  emigrants  from  the 
South  of  Ireland  to  Canada  and  the  Cape,  and  the 
first  vote  for  an  emigration  establishment  was  in 
1834,  when  a  small  sum  was  provided  to  cover  the 
pay  of  emigration  agents  at  Liverpool,  Bristol, 
Dublin,  Belfast,  Cork,  Limerick,  and  Greenock. 
In  1826  and  1827  committees  of  the  House  of 
Commons  considered  emigration  at  very  great 
length  ;  and  the  committee  of  1827,  among  other 
recommendations,  advised  that  a  Board  of  Emigra- 
tion should  be  constituted  '  under  the  direct  con- 
trol of  an  executive  department  of  the  State  '.  In 
1§31  Lord  Goderich  appointed  the  Government 

1  But  even  in  the  year  1837,  if  the  figures  given  in  an  Appendix  to 
Elliot's  report  are  correct,  out  of  29,884  emigrants  who  left  the  United 
Kingdom  for  British  North  America,  the  emigrants  from  Irish  ports 
numbered  22,463,  against  7,421  from  Great  Britain,  while  out  of  36,770 
who  left  for  the  United  States,  they  numbered  only  3,871,  against 
32,899  from  Great  Britain.  Elliot's  Report  was  printed  for  the  House 
of  Commons  on  May  14,  1838,  No.  388,  '  Copy  of  a  report  to  the 
Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies  from  the  Agent-General  for  Emigra- 
tion from  the  United  Kingdom.'  Reference  is  made  to  it  on  pp.  248  and 
253-4  (voL  ii)  of  Lord  Durham's  Report,  and  on  p.  119  (voL  iii)  of 
Buller's  report. 


Commission  011  Emigration,  to  which  reference  has 
been  made,  and  which  consisted  of  five  members, 
including  the  Parliamentary  Under-Secretary  of 
the  Colonial  Office,  Lord  Howick  (afterwards  Lord 
Grey),  and  the  Permanent  Under-Secretary,  Mr. 
Hay,  while  the  secretary  of  the  commission  was 
Elliot,  also  a  member  of  the  Colonial  Office.  This 
commission  was  dissolved  in  1832,  and  the  Colonial 
Office  was  left  to  carry  out  its  recommendations, 
until  in  1837  Elliot  was  appointed  Agent-General 
for  Emigration ;  and  finally  in  1840,  after  Dur- 
ham's and  Buller's  Reports  had  been  published, 
the  Board  of  Colonial  Land  and  Emigration  Com- 
missioners was  established,  Elliot  being  one  of  the 
three  commissioners.  This  Board  was  not  wholly 
abolished  until  the  year  1878.1 

Such  legal  provision  as  had  been  made  in  past 
times  for  the  protection  of  emigrants  on  the  out- 
ward voyages,  was  largely  embodied  in  clauses  of 
the  Customs  Acts.  The  first  Act,  which  was 
definitely  known  as  the  Passengers'  Act,  was 
passed  in  1825,  though  an  Act  of  the  kind  had  been 
passed  as  early  as  1803.  The  Act  of  1825  was 
repealed  in  1827  upon  the  recommendation  of  the 
House  of  Commons  Committee  on  Emigration, 
apparently  because  the  Committee  considered  that 
it  involved  unnecessary  interference  with  oversea 
transit.  It  was,  however,  re-enacted,  as  far  as 
concerned  British  North  America,  in  1828 ;  and  in 

1  See  the  Paper  on  Emigration  and  the  Land  and  Emigration  Board, 
which  forms  Appendix  XVII  to  the  Report  of  the  Departmental  Com- 
mittee on  Agricultural  Settlements  in  British  Colonies,  vol.  ii,  Minutes 
of  Evidence,  &c.,  Cd.  2979,  1906,  p.  327. 


1835  an  amended  Passengers'  Act  was  passed. 
Tliis  was  the  Act  which  was  in  force  when  Durham 
and  Buller  reported.  Several  later  Acts  were 
passed,  notably  in  1842,  1849,  and  1855,  and  now 
the  provisions  of  the  Passengers'  Acts  are  included 
in  the  Merchant  Shipping  Acts,  the  principal  of 
which  is  the  Act  of  1894. 

Various  strains  of  emigrants  contributed  to  the 
peopling  of  Canada  in  the  earlier  years  of  the 
nineteenth  century,  as  they  contribute  to  it  now. 
The  House  of  Commons  Committees  of  1826  and 
1827,  the  later  of  which  called  Malthus  as  a  witness, 
and  largely  relied  on  his  evidence,  invited  special 
attention  to  the  condition  of  the  Irish  labouring 
classes,  and  to  the  terrible  distress  which  had  been 
caused  among  the  weavers  in  Lancashire  and  other 
parts  of  the  North  of  England,  as  well  as  in  the 
South  of  Scotland,  by  the  substitution  of  machinery 
for  handlooms.  It  was  held  that  emigration  from 
Ireland  to  the  king's  dominions  beyond  the  seas 
ought  to  be  encouraged  and  assisted,  in  order  to 
prevent  the  emigration  which  was  already  taking 
place  from  Ireland  to  England  and  Scotland, 
thereby  lowering  the  already  too  low  wages  of  the 
English  and  Scotch  labourers  ;  and  there  had 
been  an  object-lesson  in  emigration  from  Ireland 
in  1823  and  1825,  when  Peter  Robinson,  with  the 
help  of  Government  funds,  took  out  emigrants  from 
County  Cork  and  successfully  planted  them  in 
Upper  Canada.  On  the  first  occasion  he  had  some 
difficulty  in  inducing  between  500  and  600  to 
emigrate  ;  on  the  second,  according  to  his  own 
evidence  before  the  1827  Committee,  he  selected 


2,000  out  of  50,000  who  were  ready  to  emigrate. 
The  starving  haiidloom  weavers  supplied  a  large 
number  of  emigrants,  many  of  whom  were  Scotch- 
men from  Lanarkshire  and  Renfrew.  Numbers  of 
emigration  societies  came  into  existence  from  1820 
onwards ;  and  private  individuals,  landlords,  and 
others,  gave  money  to  promote  emigration,  among 
them  being  Lord  Egremont,  who,  in  1832,  started 
an  emigration  scheme  at  Petworth  in  Sussex,  and 
the  excellence  of  whose  arrangements  for  the  care 
of  the  emigrants  on  the  ships  which  he  sent  out 
is  extolled  in  the  evidence  appended  to  Buller's 

The  emigration  from  the  United  Kingdom  to 
British  North  America,  during  the  twenty  years 
prior  to  Lord  Durham's  mission,  was  pre-eminently 
the  outcome  of  bitter  poverty  and  distress.  The 
poor  in  their  misery  were  anxious  to  emigrate, 
their  better  circumstanced  fellow  countrymen  were 
anxious  to  help  them,  emigration  was  generally 
recognized  as  the  true  remedy  for  a  great  and 
pressing  evil,  and  British  North  America,  though 
far  away  in  the  absence  of  steam,  was  near  as  com- 
pared with  Australia.  Given  the  most  destitute 
of  emigrants,  given  the  desire  to  put  no  restric- 
tion on  their  emigration,  given  a  British  territory 
not  as  distant  as  some  other  parts  of  the  British 
dominions,  where  there  was  unbounded  room  for 
British  immigrants,  and  where  State  policy  made 
British  immigration  especially  desirable  ;  given 
again  a  time  when  modern  appliances  were  un- 
known, and  views  of  life  were  less  enlightened  than 
our  own ;  there  is  then  no  room  for  wonder  that  the 

1352-1  O 


emigrants  took  with  them  on  the  middle  passage, 
as  Lord  Durham  termed  it l  (ii.  253),  and  to  the 
other  side,  hardship  and  suffering  which  reached 
its  climax  when  the  emigrant  ships  brought  cholera 
from  England  in  1832.  As  far  back  as  1819  a 
Quebec  Emigrants'  Society  had  been  formed  for 
the  relief  of  emigrants  on  arrival ;  from  time  to 
time  the  Quebec  Legislature  voted  money  for  the 
same  purpose ;  and  in  1832,  more  especially,  two 
important  Acts  were  passed.  One  was  a  Quaran- 
tine Act,  being  'An  Act  to  establish  Boards  of 
Health  within  this  province  and  to  enforce  an 
effectual  system  of  quarantine  '.  It  was  an  Act 
consisting  of  forty  sections,  but,  in  accordance 
with  a  most  mischievous  practice  of  passing  tem- 
porary laws  which  the  Assembly  of  Lower  Canada 
had  adopted  in  its  crusade  against  the  Govern- 
ment, it  was  only  passed  in  the  first  instance  for 
one  year,  becoming  law  on  the  25th  of  February 

1832,  and  remaining  in  force  till  the  1st  of  February 

1833.  It  was  passed  in  consequence  of  a  warning 
from  the  Imperial  Government  that  cholera  had 
reached  England,  and  would  probably  pass  on  to 
Canada;  and  under  its  provisions   a   quarantine 
station  was  established  at  Grosse  Isle,  rather  more 
than  thirty  miles  below  the  port  of  Quebec.     It 
was  passed  none  too  soon.     In  June  an  emigrant 
ship  brought  the  cholera,  which  caused  terrible 
mortality,2  and  supplied  a  fresh  and  not  wholly 

1  The  actual  words  are,  '  the  yet  unhealthy  mid-passage.' 

'  On  June  8  it  declared  itself  in  Quebec,  and  the  following  day  at 
Montreal.  An  almost  decimation  of  the  inhabitants  of  both  cities  took 
place  before  it  ceased  its  ravages.'  From  '  Remarks  on  the  Quarantine 
Station,  Grosse  Isle,  from  its  establishment  in  1832,  by  Sir  John  Doralt, 


unreasoning  grievance  against  England  among  the 
French  Canadians,  in  that  emigration  from  England 
had  brought  death  to  Canada. 

The  second  Act  was  '  An  Act  to  create  a  fund 
for  defraying  the  expense  of  providing  medical 
assistance  for  sick  emigrants  and  of  enabling 
indigent  persons  of  that  description  to  proceed  to 
the  place  of  their  destination '.  This  Act  again  was 
a  temporary  Act,  expiring  on  the  1st  of  May  1834,1 
and,  like  the  Quarantine  Act,  had  been  suggested 
by  the  Imperial  Government.  It  levied  a  tax  on 
immigrants  of  5s.  a  head,  and  the  proceeds  of  the 
tax  were  divided  into  fourths,  between  the  Quebec 
Emigrant  Hospital,  the  Montreal  General  Hospital, 
the  Emigrant  Society  at  Quebec,  and  the  Emigrant 
Society  at  Montreal,  the  main  object  being  to  for- 
ward destitute  emigrants  on  arrival  to  their 
destination.  It  was  a  tax  which  Buller  criticized 
on  the  score  of  equity.  '  To  tax  the  whole  body  of 
emigrants  for  the  purpose  of  providing  a  remedy 

M.D.',  included  in  Appendix  A  to  Lord  Durham's  Report.  This  has 
not  been  reprinted. 

1  The  inconvenience  caused  by  this  temporary  legislation  is  shown 
by  the  following  extract  from  Buller's  Report  (iii.  121) :  '  In  the  year 
1837,  when  from  the  prevalence  of  the  cholera  the  necessities  of  the 
emigrants  were  greatest,  the  societies  in  question  had  absolutely  no 
public  money  at  their  disposal,  on  account  of  the  expiration  of  the 
Provincial  Act  under  which  the  fund  had,  till  then,  been  raised.'  An 
Act  was  passed  in  March  1834,  prolonging  the  operation  of  the  1832  Act 
until  May  1,  1836,  but  the  prolonging  Act  was  reserved  for  the  King's 
pleasure,  and  did  not  receive  the  Royal  assent  till  August,  1834,  and 
the  royal  assent  was  not  notified  by  proclamation  of  the  Governor- 
General  till  January  1835,  when  the  Act  came  into  force.  There  were 
subsequent  Acts  which  prolonged  the  original  Act  till  1839.  As  to  Acts 
for  the  relief  of  emigrants  in  Lower  Canada,  see  the  General  Report  of  the 
Assistant  Commissioners  of  Municipal  Enquiry,  Appendix  C,  iii.  169, 170. 

O  2 


for  evils  which  no  adequate  means  have  been 
adopted  to  prevent,  and  thus  to  compel  the  most 
prudent  of  that  class  to  bear  the  burden  of  impru- 
dence or  negligence  in  others,  is  surely  a  measure 
of  very  doubtful  justice  '  (Appendix  B,  iii.  122). 

That  Durham  and  Buller  did  good  service  in 
calling  attention  to  existing  abuses  in  connexion 
with  emigration  from  the  United  Kingdom  to 
British  North  America,  and  in  demanding  more 
effective  control  by  the  Government,  cannot  foe 
doubted ;  nor  is  there  any  doubt  that  their  repre- 
sentations bore  fruit,  when  in  the  following  year 
the  Board  of  Colonial  Land  and  Emigration  Com- 
missioners was  created,  and  Lord  John  Russell 
formulated  their  instructions.  But  the  main  interest 
of  the  subject  lies  in  comparing  the  views  which  are 
propounded  in  their  reports  with  those  which  are 
set  out  in  Elliot's  Report  of  1838.  According  to 
Elliot's  Report,  a  strong  distinction  had  been  drawn 
by  the  Commission  of  1831  between  emigration  to 
Australia  and  emigration  to  British  North  America, 
emigration  to  Australia  requiring  direct  State  aid, 
which  was  held  not  to  be  required  in  the  case  of 
emigration  to  British  North  America;  and  Elliot 
summed  up  the  Government  emigration  policy,  in 
regard  to  British  North  America,  in  the  words 
'  that  although  no  direct  aid  is  given  to  the  resort 
of  people  to  North  America,  every  effort  is  made 
for  the  ease  and  safety  of  their  transit,  so  that 
while  the  emigration  to  that  quarter  is  left  to  flow 
from  natural  springs,  no  pains  are  spared  to  keep 
the  channels  free  through  which  it  takes  its  course  V 

1  p.  10. 


The  official  view,  in  short,  was  that  emigration 
to  British  North  America  need  not  be  subsidized 
or  stimulated,  though  the  emigrants  must  be 
and  actually  were  safeguarded.  Durham,  on  the 
other  hand,  strongly  contended  that  sufficient 
safeguards  were  not  applied,  and  that  the  existing 
amount  of  Government  control  was  not  adequate. 
But,  with  Buller,  he  went  further;  he  disputed 
the  whole  thesis  that  while  the  Wakefield  system 
was  applicable  to  Australia,  it  was  not  applicable 
to  British  North  America,  and  that  in  the  case 
of  British  North  America  Government  interference 
should  be  strictly  limited.  To  Durham  and 
Buller  emigration  was  only  one  part  of  a  great 
scheme  for  colonizing  the  Empire  ;  and  though 
they  appreciated  the  difference  between  the 
conditions  of  the  Australian  colonies  and  those 
of  British  North  America,  yet  the  scheme  which 
they  contemplated  was  to  be  as  far  as  possible 
uniform  for  the  whole  Empire,  and  in  carrying  it 
out  the  agency  of  the  Imperial  Government  was 
to  be  omnipotent  and  omnipresent.  '  There  is  not 
indeed  any  obvious  reason  why  the  Government 
should  take  less  effectual  measures  to  regulate 
emigration  to  the  American  than  to  the  Australian 
colonies,'  writes  Buller  (iii.  120),  '  there  may  be  a 
difference  in  the  character  and  circumstances  of 
emigration  to  the  two  regions,  but  none  so  great 
as  to  free  the  former  from  all  interference,  while 
the  latter  is  in  several  cases  to  a  great  extent,  and 
in  one  entirely,  regulated  by  Government.'  It  will 
be  borne  in  mind  that  the  time  was  one  when 
a  strong  body  of  public  opinion  was  being  formed 


antagonistic  to  State  interference,  and  about  to 
result  in  Free  Trade  ;  that  the  great  Poor  Law 
Amendment  Act  of  1834  had  been  a  practical  pro- 
nouncement in  favour  of  self-help  and  of  restrict- 
ing aid  from  public  funds ;  that  Durham,  as  the 
apostle  of  self-government  for  the  colonies,  seemed 
to  be  in  harmony  with  the  trend  of  opinion  which 
made  for  laissez-faire  in  the  case  alike  of  individuals 
and  of  peoples.  Yet  it  was  at  this  time,  and  by 
this  man,  that  the  strongest  possible  pronounce- 
ment was  made,  in  connexion  with  public  lands  in 
the  colonies  and  emigration  to  'the  colonies,  in 
favour  of  interference  by  the  Government  with  the 
individual,  and  by  the  Imperial  Government  with 
the  colonial  community.  The  explanation  is  that 
Durham,  when  he  recognized  what  he  considered 
to  be  abuses,  was  not  tied  by  a  priori  doctrines, 
and  that  he  had  above  all  a  great  and  overpower- 
ing sense  of  the  unity  of  the  Empire. 


It  has  been  seen  that  the  funds  derived  from 
the  tax  upon  wild  lands,  from  the  sale  of  lands, 
and  from  timber  licences,  were,  according  to 
Buller's  scheme,  to  be  applied  partly  to  assisting 
and  safeguarding  emigration,  and  partly  '  to  such 
works  as  would  improve  the  value  of  land  and 
facilitate  the  progress  of  settlement.  Of  such 
works  ',  writes  Buller,  '  I  may  mention  the  con- 
struction of  leading  lines  of  road,  the  removal  of 
obstructions  in  the  navigation  of  rivers,  and  the 
formation  of  railroads  and  canals.  In  some  of 


these  works,  the  whole  of  the  cost  will  be  defrayed 
out  of  these  funds  ;  in  others,  it  will  only  be 
necessary  to  afford  a  limited  amount  of  assistance 
in  aid  of  works  in  which  private  capital  may  be 
invested,  though  not  to  a  sufficient  amount  to 
complete  the  undertaking.  Of  the  class  in  which 
only  a  partial  assistance  would  be  required  are 
the  railroads  and  canals,  which  have  been  pro- 
jected to  connect  the  different  colonies  with  each 
other  ;  or  to  improve  existing  or  create  new  means 
of  transport  for  passengers  and  merchandise  to  the 
Western  States  of  the  Union  ;  and  to  which  the 
resources  of  the  colonies  are  as  yet  unequal.  Of 
these,  I  may  mention  the  projected  canal  between 
the  Bay  of  Fundy  and  the  Baie  Verte,  referred  to 
in  the  evidence  of  Mr.  Mackay  ;  the  canal  con- 
necting the  River  Ottawa  and  Lake  Huron  by 
means  of  Lake  Nipissing  and  French  River,  re- 
ferred to  in  the  evidence  of  Mr.  Shirreff ;  a  pro- 
jected railroad  connecting  Lake  Ontario  with  Lake 
Huron  ;  and  the  railroad  from  Halifax  to  Quebec  ' 
(iii.  116).  It  will  be  noted  that  Buller  suggests  that 
railroads  and  canals  should  be  constructed,  not  so 
much  directly  by  the  State,  as  by  supplementing 
and  subsidizing  private  enterprise  from  Govern- 
ment funds.  Such  a  course  had  been  adopted  in 
regard  to  the  Welland  Canal;  and  the  Canadian 
Pacific  Railway  may  be  taken  as  one  of  the  most 
striking  of  many  instances  in  which  private  citizens 
have  carried  out  great  public  enterprises  in  Canada 
with  the  aid  of  State  subsidies.  In  this  respect 
Canada  differs  from  the  self-governing  dominions 
in  Australasia,  where  the  means  of  communication 


have  been  supplied  almost  entirely  by  the  State. 
In  Canada,  for  instance,  the  great  railway  systems 
of  the  Canadian  Pacific,  the  Grand  Trunk,  and 
the  Canadian  Northern  are  all  owned  by  private 
companies,  though  they  have  been  largely  aided 
and  strongly  backed  by  the  Government.  Of  the 
four  public  works  to  which  Buller  referred  as  in 
contemplation,  the  two  last  have  been  carried  out. 
Various  railways  connect  Lake  Ontario  with  Lake 
Huron,  and  the  Intercolonial  Railway  links  Halifax 
to  Quebec.  But  the  Baie  Verte  Canal  has  never 
been  made,  and  the  great,  much-considered  scheme 
of  the  Georgian  Bay  Canal  is  still  for  the  future. 
Buller  wrote  of  improving  or  creating  means  of 
transport  for  passengers  and  merchandise  to  the 
Western  States  of  the  Union,  but  he  made  no 
mention  of  the  great  North-West  of  Canada.  Nor 
is  there  any  mention  of  it  in  Lord  Durham's  report, 
for  far-seeing  as  Lord  Durham  was,  and  great  as 
was  his  confidence  in  the  resources  of  the  coming 
time,  the  future  grain  lands  of  the  prairies  were 
hidden  from  his  eyes. 

For  any  empire,  for  any  great  territory  within 
or  without  an  empire,  means  of  communication 
are  all  important ;  but  perhaps  throughout  the 
whole  world,  no  land  tells  so  well  as  Canada  to 
what  extent  the  life  of  a  country  and  of  its  people 
is  a  question  of  communication.  Nowhere  have 
communications  been  more  essential  to  national 
existence  than  in  Canada  ;  nowhere  has  nature 
offered  greater  facilities  for  communication;  no- 
where has  man  supplemented  nature  in  this  respect 
with  more  conspicuous  courage  and  enterprise. 


Early  in  his  Report  Lord  Durham,  in  a  splendid 
passage,  bears  witness  to  Canada  as  he  saw  it, 
recounting  that  '  trade  with  other  continents  is 
favoured  by  the  possession  of  a  large  number  of  safe 
and  spacious  harbours ;  long,  deep,  and  numerous 
rivers,  and  vast  inland  seas,  supply  the  means 
of  easy  intercourse  ;  and  the  structure  of  the 
country  generally  affords  the  utmost  facility  for 
every  species  of  communication  by  land '  (ii.  12, 13). 
Towards  the  end  of  his  Report  he  lays  down,  as 
beyond  dispute,  that  '  the  great  discoveries  of 
modem  art,  which  have  throughout  the  world, 
and  nowhere  more  than  in  America,  entirely 
altered  the  character  and  the  channels  of  com- 
munication between  distant  countries,  will  bring 
all  the  North  American  colonies  into  constant  and 
speedy  intercourse  with  each  other.  The  success 
of  the  great  experiment  of  steam  navigation  across 
the  Atlantic  opens  a  prospect  of  a  speedy  com- 
munication with  Europe,  which  will  materially 
affect  the  future  state  of  all  these  provinces  '  ; 
and  he  prophesies  that  with  the  construction  of 
a  railway  from  Halifax  to  Quebec,  and  with 
steamers  running  across  the  Atlantic,  '  the  passage 
from  Ireland  to  Quebec  would  be  a  matter  of  ten 
or  twelve  days,  and  Halifax  would  be  the  great 
port  by  which  a  large  portion  of  the  trade,  and  all 
the  conveyance  of  passengers  to  the  whole  of 
British  North  America,  would  be  carried  on ' 
(ii.  316-19). 

The  line  of  length  in  Canada,  like  the  line  of 
life,  has  been  from  east  to  west.  '  The  great 
natural  channel  of  the  St.  Lawrence,'  to  use  Lord 


Durham's  words,  runs  south-west  and  north-east. 
While  Canada  belonged  to  France,  the  story  of 
Canada,  excluding  Acadia  and  Hudson's  Bay,  was 
the  story  of  the  St.  Lawrence,  the  story  of  a  water- 
way, and  that  waterway  ran  in  the  main  east  and 
west.  In  later  times  expansion  was  still  mainly 
east  and  west,  still  from  one  meridian  of  longitude 
to  another,  not  from  one  parallel  of  latitude  to 
another,  although  the  fur  traders  roamed  north 
and  south  as  well.  It  was  otherwise  in  the  case  of 
the  United  States.  There  the  earlier  settlement 
was  for  the  most  part  north  and  south  along  the 
Atlantic  seaboard  ;  and,  when  in  the  course  of 
years  settlement  expanded  inland  to  the  west,  the 
great  river  which  was  secured  for  the  American 
Republic,  the  Mississippi,  was  a  river  which  ran 
north  and  south,  not  east  and  west. 

By  the  severance  of  the  United  States  from  the 
British  Empire,  Canada  gained  a  future  as  a 
nation ;  but  its  national  existence  and  its  national 
growth  became  almost  entirely  a  matter  of  longi- 
tudinal expansion,  for  the  treaty  of  1783  gave  to 
the  British  provinces,  which  now  form  the  Dominion 
of  Canada,  a  southern  boundary,  which  hemmed 
them  in,  and  in  a  sense  prolonged  their  line  by 
making  the  length  of  habitable  land — before  the 
North- West  was  opened  up  and  known — out  of 
proportion  to  the  breadth.  The  line  was  threatened 
at  this  point  and  at  that,  notably  on  the  Maine 
boundary,  by  the  unnatural  results  of  the  treaty 
of  1783,  and  communication  became  beyond  all 
things  vital  to  the  existence  of  Canada. 

Further,  the  coming  into  being  of  the  American 


boundary,  with  a  not  too  friendly  people  on  the 
other  side,  gave  prominence  to  military  considera- 
tions in  the  matter  of  Canadian  lines  of  communica- 
tion. Military  men  desired  to  impede  rather  than 
to  promote  communications  between  Canada  and 
the  United  States,  and  within  Canada  they  desired 
to  construct  communications  as  far  removed  as 
possible  from  the  frontier.  It  was  for  military, 
not,  as  Lord  Durham  read  the  history,1  for  political 
reasons,  that  it  was  attempted,  after  the  war  of 
1812,  to  prohibit  settlement  and  keep  a  belt  of 
bush  between  Canada  and  the  United  States  on 
the  south  side  of  the  St.  Lawrence  ;  and  the  con- 
struction of  the  Rideau  Canal  was  entirely  due  to 
the  soldiers'  wish  to  have  water  communication, 
for  military  purposes,  between  Montreal  and 
Lake  Ontario,  beyond  striking  distance  from  the 
American  frontier.  In  the  first  of  these  two  cases, 
after  the  government  reversed  its  policy,  we  find 
a  military  man  expressing  regret  that  the  bush  was 
allowed  to  be  cut  down  in  these  frontier  districts 
and  settlement  to  be  promoted ;  while  correspon- 
dence which  has  been  published  on  the  subject  of 
the  beginnings  of  the  Rideau  Canal,2  shows  that 
that  work  was  so  entirely  the  outcome  of  military 
considerations,  that  Colonel  By3  the  skilful 
engineer  who  carried  out  the  undertaking, 
himself  a  soldier,  with  difficulty  induced  the 
Government  to  consent  to  making  the  canal 
and  its  locks  large  enough  for  commercial  as  well 
as  for  military  purposes.  A  prize  essay  on  the 

1  See  the  Report,  ii.  65,  and  note,  and  below,  p.  278. 

5  See  the  Report  on  the  Canadian  Archives  for  1890,  Appendix  P. 


canals  of  Canada,  by  Mr.  Keefer,  published  in 
1850,  comments  severely  upon  the  military  canals 
in  Canada,  and  speaks  of  *  those  unfortunate 
military  considerations  which  have  ever  been  a 
bar  to  our  advancement ' ; 1  but  it  was  under  a 
soldier  governor,  and  in  time  of  war,  that  the 
canals  of  Canada  began;  and  Canada  has  owed 
not  a  little  to  the  military  instinct  which  has 
sought  for  lines  of  communication  remote  from 
the  international  boundary. 

Coming  down  to  later  times,  the  confederation 
of  Canada  was  more  than  anything  else  a  ques- 
tion of  communication.  The  145th  section  of  the 
British  North  America  Act  provided  that,  'Inas- 
much as  the  provinces  of  Canada,  Nova  Scotia, 
and  New  Brunswick  have  joined  in  a  declaration 
that  the  construction  of  the  Intercolonial  Railway 
is  essential  to  the  consolidation  of  the  union  of 
British  North  America,  and  to  the  assent  thereto 
of  Nova  Scotia  and  New  Brunswick,'  a  railway 
connecting  the  river  St.  Lawrence  with  the  city  of 
Halifax  should  be  begun  within  six  months  of  the 
date  of  union  ;  and  as  this  Intercolonial  Railway, 
the  railway  which  Lord  Durham  foreshadowed, 
was  an  essential  condition  to  the  union  of  the 
maritime  provinces  with  Canada,  so  the  con- 
sideration for  which  in  1871  British  Columbia 
joined  the  Dominion,  was  that  a  railway  linking 
that  province  with  Eastern  Canada  should  be 
begun  within  two  years,  and  completed  within 
ten  years  from  the  date  when  the  province  entered 

1  Prize  Essay :    The  Canals  of  Canada,  by  Thos.  C.  Keefer,  Civil 
Engineer,  Toronto,  1850. 


the  Union.  In  1885,  a  little  later  than  the  pro- 
mised time,  the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway  spanned 
the  continent,  and  to  a  greater  extent  than  any 
other  single  work  of  man  in  any  part  of  the  world 
contributed  to  the  making  of  a  nation. 

Although  airships  have  been  invented,  com- 
munication has  so  far  been  carried  on  either  by 
water  or  by  land.  Nature  gives  communication 
by  water,  though  there  are  usually  flaws  in  the 
connexion  which  need  to  be  remedied  by  the  handi- 
work of  man.  By  land,  at  best,  she  does  not  pro- 
hibit it.  Lord  Durham,  in  the  passage  which  has 
been  quoted  above,  notes  that  in  Canada  '  the 
structure  of  the  country  generally  affords  the 
utmost  facility  for  every  species  of  communica- 
tion by  land ' ;  and  his  statement  holds  true, 
although,  when  he  made  it,  he  had  in  view  at  most 
but  half  the  continent.  Stupendous  as  was  the 
work  of  carrying  the  first  railway  through  such 
a  desert  as  lies  on  the  north  shore  of  Lake  Supe- 
rior, the  prairies  beyond  are  formed  for  roads 
and  railways,  and  the  Rocky  Mountains  and  the 
Selkirks  were  traversed  without  burrowing  under- 
ground as  in  the  Alps.  From  Montreal  to  Van- 
couver the  Canadian  Pacific  Railway  runs  for 
2,900  miles;  along  its  whole  course  there  is  still 
no  St.  Gothard  or  Simplon  tunnel,  and  but  few 
tunnels,  as  at  Field,  of  appreciable  length. 

In  the  matter  of  waterways  Nature  has  been 
wonderfully  bountiful  to  Canada.  It  would  be 
difficult  to  find  a  parallel  in  other  parts  of  the 
world,  if  account  is  taken  both  of  inland  waters 
and  of  outlet  to  the  sea.  This  is  perhaps  the 


greatest  advantage  that  Canada  possesses,  as  com- 
pared with  the  other  self-governing  dominions  of 
the  King.  There  is  continuous  water  communica- 
tion for  2,200  miles  from  the  Straits  of  Belle  Isle 
to  Port  Arthur  at  the  western  end  of  Lake  Superior. 
The  difference  in  level  between  the  sea  and  Lake 
Superior  is  about  600  feet.  Along  this  great  water- 
way there  are  some  73  miles  of  canal ;  and  between 
Montreal  at  the  head  of  ocean  navigation,  986 
miles  from  the  Straits  of  Belle  Isle,  and  Lake 
Superior,  there  are  48  locks.  The  beginning  of 
Canadian  canals  was  in  the  years  1779-83,  years 
of  the  War  of  American  Independence,  when 
General  Haldimand  governed  Canada.  They  were 
constructed  for  military  purposes,  and  consisted  of 
short  cuts  with  locks  on  the  St.  Lawrence  above 
Montreal,  between  Lakes  St.  Louis  and  St.  Francis, 
at  the  Cascades,  the  Cedars,  and  Coteau  du  Lac, 
which  were  subsequently  merged  in  the  Beau- 
harnois  Canal.  In  1797-8  some  kind  of  canal 
appears  to  have  been  made  by  the  North- West 
Company  on  the  Canadian  side  of  the  Sault  St. 
Marie.  The  Lachine  Canal,  which,  with  a  length 
of  8J  miles  and  five  locks,  carries  vessels  past  the 
Lachine  rapids  and  across  the  southern  part  of  the 
Island  of  Montreal,  was  early  projected ;  and  after 
the  second  American  war,  in  1815,  the  Quebec 
Legislature,  on  the  suggestion  of  the  Governor, 
Sir  George  Prevost,  passed  an  Act  appropriating 
a  sum  of  money  to  its  construction.  The  canal, 
however,  was  not  completed  till  1824,  at  a  cost  of 
over  £107,000,  and  the  first  ships  went  through  it 
in  1825.  Of  the  other  canals  which  were  in  exis- 


tence  in  Lord  Durham's  time,  the  Rideau  Canal 
from  Ottawa  to  Kingston,-  126  miles  in  length, 
a  military  w  rk  constructed  entirely  at  the  expense 
of  the  Imperial  Government,  was  begun  in  1826 
and  opened  in  1832  ;    while  the  Welland  Canal, 
27  miles  long,  correcting  the  break  in  navigation 
caused  by  the  Falls  of  Niagara,  and  therefore  of 
the  utmost  importance  to  Canadian  waterborne 
trade,  Chough  begun  before  the  Rideau  Canal,  was 
not  available  for  traffic  till  1833.    In  1834  the  Corn- 
wall Canal,  to  which  Lord  Durham  refers,  and 
which  rectifies  the  navigation  of  the  St.  Lawrence 
past  the   Long  Sault  Rapids,  was  begun,  but  it 
was  not  opened  for  traffic  till  1843.     One  of  the 
early  projects  in  connexion  with  inland  navigation 
in  Canada  was  the  improvement  of  the  waterway 
of  the  Richelieu  River,  connecting  the  St.  Lawrence 
with  Lake  Champlain.    In  1818  an  Act  was  passed 
in  Lower  Canada,  empowering  a  company  to  con- 
struct the  Chambly  Canal  on  the  line  of  this  river ; 
but  it  was  not  until  1843  that,  after  various  vicissi- 
tudes, the  canal  was  opened,  having  a  length  of 
12  miles  with  9  locks.1    Meanwhile,  the  Richelieu 
River  had  been  connected  with  the  St.  Lawrence 
over  against  Montreal  by  a  little  railway  of  15  miles 
in  length,  running  from  La  Prairie  to  St.  John's 
on  the   Richelieu,    above   the   Chambly   Rapids. 
This  was  the  line  to  which  Lord  Durham  refers  in 
his  Report  (ii.  212-13)  as  the  'one  railroad  in  all 

1  One  of  the  best  accounts  of  the  Canadian  canals  up  to  the  date  of 
the  report  is  the  Historical  Sketch  of  the  Canals  of  Canada,  given  in 
the  report  of  the  Canal  Commission  of  1871,  Canadian  Sessional  Papers, 
1871,  No.  54. 


British  America  ',  and  it  had  only  been  opened  for 
locomotive  traction  in  1837. 

As  compared  with  the  great  canals  and  railways 
which  throughout  Canada,  as  Canada  was  in  Lord 
Durham's  time,  make  the  transit  of  men  and 
merchandise  sure  and  speedy,  and  which  beyond 
the  limits  of  his  horizon  are  making  a  new  world 
in  the  West  and  North- West,  carrying  communica- 
tions to  the  northern  as  well  as  to  the  western  seas, 
the  public  works  of  Canada  in  Lord  Durham's  day 
appear  puny  and  insignificant.  But  not  a  little 
had  been  done,  and  out  of  all  comparison  with  the 
accomplished  facts  was  the  recognition  of  what 
was  coming  in  the  future.  On  the  13th  of  July, 
1826,  Colonel  By,  when  contending  for  larger 
dimensions  in  the  scheme  of  the  Rideau  Canal, 
wrote  :  *  The  number  of  the  steamboats  now  build- 
ing on  the  banks  of  the  St.  Lawrence  is  one  of  the 
great  proofs  of  the  increasing  trade  and  prosperity 
of  this  country.' *  Lord  Durham  notes  how  the 
province  of  Upper  Canada  had  become  involved  in 
financial  difficulties  through  entering  on  a  bold 
policy  of  public  works,  and  it  has  been  seen  that 
the  first  vessel  to  cross  the  Atlantic  by  the  help  of 
steam  alone  had  been  built  in  and  started  from 
Canada.  In  spite  of  political  troubles  and  antago- 
nisms, possibly  to  some  extent  because  of  them, 
Canada  was  instinct  with  the  sense  of  possibilities, 
and  Lord  Durham  shared  it  to  the  full.  It  is  the 
common  failing  of  political  thinkers  and  writers 
to  devote  their  whole  attention  to  laws  and  con- 
stitutions, and  what  is  called  political  science,  and 

1  Report  on  Canadian  Archives  for  1890,  Appendix  D. 


to  overlook  the  tremendous  effect  which  science  in 
the  stricter  sense,  invention,  and  engineering,  has 
had  and  will  have  in  an  increasing  degree  upon 
politics  and  history.  It  was  one  of  Lord  Durham's 
supreme  merits  that,  politician  as  he  was,  and 
devoted  to  constitutional  reform,  he  appreciated 
public  works  present  or  future  at  their  full  value, 
and  appreciated  them  not  merely  for  their  direct 
material  results,  but  also,  and  in  a  greater  degree, 
because  of  their  bearing  on  politics.  They  appealed 
to  his  constructive  mind  as  being  communications, 
as  making  divided  parts  into  one,  as  making  small 
things  into  great,  as  linking  one  home  to  another, 
one  little  town  to  another  little  town,  one  pro- 
vince to  another,  one  united  group  of  provinces 
to  the  mother  country.  He  notes  as  one  among 
various  objections  to  the  system  of  clergy  reserves, 
that  they  were  an  obstacle  to  communication  and 
to  continuity  of  settlement  (ii.  220-2).  Here  are 
words  in  which  he  condemns  the  policy  of  the 
Legislature  of  Lower  Canada  (ii.  99-100) :  '  While 
the  Assembly  was  wasting  the  surplus  revenues  of 
the  Province  in  jobs  for  the  increase  of  patronage, 
and  in  petty  peddling  in  parochial  business,  it  left 
untouched  those  vast  and  easy  means  of  com- 
munication which  deserved,  and  would  have  repaid, 
the  application  of  the  provincial  revenues.  The 
state  of  New  York  made  its  own  St.  Lawrence 
from  Lake  Erie  to  the  Hudson,  while  the  Govern- 
ment of  Canada  could  not  achieve,  or  even  attempt, 
the  few  miles  of  canal  and  dredging,  which  would 
have  rendered  its  mighty  rivers  navigable  almost 
to  their  sources.'  And  here  are  words  which  show 

1352-1  P 


how  well  he  understood  the  bearing  of  public 
works  on  politics,  and  how  he  looked  to  roads 
and  railways  to  help  on  confederation  :  '  The 
completion  of  any  satisfactory  communication 
between  Halifax  and  Quebec  would,  in  fact,  pro- 
duce relations  between  these  Provinces  that  would 
render  a  general  union  absolutely  necessary ' 
(ii.  318). 

It  has  been  noted  that  Lord  Durham's  horizon 
did  not  include  the  North- West  and  beyond,  but 
assuredly  if  ever  a  man  deserved  to  see  what  our 
eyes  have  seen  in  Canada,  a  dominion  from  sea  to 
sea  as  the  direct  result  of  railways,  it  was  the  man 
who  could  feel  as  he  felt,  and  write  as  he  wrote, 
with  regard  to  the  importance  of  means  of  com- 


How  close  was  the  connexion  in  Lord  Durham's 
mind  between  means  of  communication  and  local 
government  may  be  seen  from  the  Commission 
which  he  issued  to  Buller,  authorizing  an  inquiry 
into  the  municipal  institutions  of  Lower  Canada. 
The  Commission  recites,  '  Whereas  it  is  highly 
expedient  and  desirable  that  the  counties,  cities, 
towns,  parishes,  and  townships  in  our  province  of 
Lower  Canada  should  respectively  enjoy  as  ex- 
tensive a  control  as  may  be  consistent  with  their 
own  improvement,  and  with  the  general  welfare 
of  our  said  province,  over  all  matters  and  things 
of  a  local  nature,  to  the  end  that  intercourse  may 
be  facilitated,  industry  promoted,  crime  repressed, 
education  appreciated,  and  true  liberty  under- 


stood  and  advanced.'  The  first  place  among  the 
objects  for  which  local  self-government  should  be 
given  is  assigned  to  facilitating  intercourse  ;  and 
similarly  Charles  Buller,  in  his  letter  of  instruc- 
tions to  the  Assistant  Commissioners  of  Municipal 
Inquiry,  places  in  the  forefront '  increased  facilities 
of  internal  communication  '.  '  You  will  inquire 
and  report  about  the  provision  which  has  been 
made  for  the  formation  and  maintenance  of  those 
internal  communications,  which,  as  they  concern 
only  local  divisions,  can  never  be  the  objects  of 
interest  to  a  central  government.  The  system  by 
which  the  roads  and  bridges  of  the  province  have 
been  managed  will  be  one  of  the  first  and  most 
important  subjects  of  investigation.' 

The  General  Report  of  the  Assistant  Commis- 
sioners of  Municipal  Inquiry  is  of  great  value  for 
students  of  Canadian  history,  embracing  as  it 
does  a  large  variety  of  subjects,  and  illustrating, 
for  instance,  such  anomalies  as  had  been  caused 
by  the  mischievous  practice  of  temporary  legisla- 
tion, which  the  Quebec  Assembly  had  reduced  to 
a  fine  art.  The  Report,  however,  deals  with  Lower 
Canada  only,  and  in  their  Preliminary  Report  the 
Commissioners  state  that  they  had  been  compelled 
to  modify  their  plan  of  investigation,  and  curtail 
their  labours,  by  '  events  untoward  for  the  settle- 
ment of  these  colonies  '  (Appendix  C,  iii.  138),  in 
other  words,  by  Lord  Durham's  resignation.  The 
Commission  authorizing  the  inquiry  is  dated  the 
23rd  of  August  1838,  the  General  Report  is  dated 
the  14th  of  November  1838,  and  from  what  Lord 
Durham  says  (ii.  113),  it  is  clear  that  he  had  not 



received  the  Assistant  Commissioners'  Report,  when 
lie  wrote  his  own. 

In  their  Preliminary  Report  the  Assistant  Com- 
missioners record  that  '  there  is  no  such  thing 
as  systematized  local  self-government  in  Lower 
Canada'  (Appendix  C,  iii.  139) ;  and  the  paragraph 
in  their  General  Report,  headed  '  Existing  Means 
for  Local  Self-Go vernment  in  Lower  Canada',  be- 
gins with  the  statement  that '  The  only  machinery 
for  the  working  of  a  plan  of  municipal  government 
in  the  province  is  to  be  found  under  the  operation 
of  the  road  law  and  collateral  enactments '  (Appen- 
dix C,  iii.  227).  In  reference  to  the  same  province, 
Lord  Durham  writes  of  '  the  utter  want  of  muni- 
cipal institutions  giving  the  people  any  control 
over  their  local  affairs '  (ii.  113).  Municipal  corpora- 
tions had  come  into  existence  in  Quebec  and 
Montreal  in  1832,  in  pursuance  of  Acts  passed  in 
the  previous  year,  but  they  went  out  of  existence 
again  in  1836,  in  consequence  of  the  temporary 
Acts  under  which  they  had  been  created  not 
being  renewed  by  the  cross-grained  Assembly  of 
Lower  Canada;  and  Lord  Durham  tells  us,  that 
he  found  it  necessary  to  organize  police  forces  for 
the  two  cities  (ii.  132).  Throughout  the  country, 
under  the  old  French  regime,  the  militia  had  been, 
in  Lord  Durham's  words,  '  so  constituted  and  used, 
as  partially  to  supply  the  want  of  better  civil 
institutions '  (ii.  98),  but  the  force  was  now  prac- 
tically annihilated.  In  short,  in  Lower  Canada,  in 
both  town  and  country,  there  was  administrative 

On  the  subject  of  local  government  in  Upper 


Canada  Lord  Durham  has  little  to  say ;  though,  in 
the  part  of  his  Report  which  refers  to  that  province, 
he  notes  that  '  there  is  no  adequate  system  of  local 
assessment  to  improve  the  means  of  communica- 
tion '  (ii.  184) ;  and  on  the  other  hand,  that  '  the 
Province  has  already  been  fortunately  obliged  to 
throw  the  whole  support  of  the  few  and  imperfect 
local  works,  which  are  carried  on  in  different  parts 
of  the  Province,  on  local  assessments  '  (ii.  190). 
Buller,  in  his  instructions  to  the  Assistant  Com- 
missioners, gives  Upper  Canada  as  an  instance  of 
a  country  in  which  '  a  very  perfect  municipal 
machinery  exists  without  being  rendered  avail- 
able for  the  most  important  municipal  purposes  ' 
(Appendix  C,  iii.  136)  ;  and  from  a  Report  which 
was  supplied  to  Poulett  Thomson  in  January 
1840,  and  forwarded  by  him  to  Lord  John  Russell,1 
it  appears  that,  while  the  country  townships  of 
Upper  Canada  had  their  local  machinery  and 
elected  their  officers,  they  had  no  power  of  raising 
money  for  local  improvements.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  same  Report  states  that  '  Nearly  all 
the  towns  in  Upper  Canada  have  obtained  corpo- 
rate powers,  namely  Toronto,  Kingston,  Hamilton, 
Cobourg, Niagara, Prescott,  Cornwall,  and  London'. 
Toronto  had  been  incorporated  in  1834,  and  with 
its  incorporation  regained  its  original  name,  and 
discarded  the  name  of  York  which  it  had  borne 
since  1793.  The  first  Mayor  of  Toronto,  elected 

1  Report  by  Captain  Pringle  on  Land  Tax,  Roads,  and  Municipal 
Institutions,  dated  Toronto,  January  20,  1840:  House  of  Commons 
Paper,  147,  March  23,  1840.  Copies  or  Extracts  of  Correspondence 
relative  to  the  Re-union  of  the  Provinces  of  Upper  and  Lower  Canada, 
p.  41. 


by  his  fellow  citizens,  was  William   Lyon  Mac- 

Bearing  in  mind  that  what  is  stated  in  Lord 
Durham's  Report  and  its  Appendixes  on  the  sub- 
ject of  municipalities  and  local  administration  has 
special  reference  to  Lower  Canada,  Lord  Durham's 
views  on  the  subject  will  be  best  appreciated,  by 
giving  what  are  more  or  less  obvious  answers  to 
the  question,  Why  did  he  set  so  much  store  by 
municipal  institutions  and  local  self-government  ? 
The  first  and  most  obvious  answer  is,  that  the  want 
of  such  institutions  was  so  painfully  apparent ; 
but  it  is  unnecessary  to  labour  this  point,  or  to 
multiply  quotations  showing  how  great  and  press- 
ing was  the  actual  need  for  adequate  municipal 
and  local  administration  in  Lower  Canada;  and 
Lord  Durham,  while  he  lost  no  time  in  providing 
for  security  of  life  and  property  at  Quebec  and 
Montreal,  had  views  beyond  merely  meeting  the 
wants  of  the  moment. 

He  was  a  strong  Liberal,  he  was  a  strong  Im- 
perialist, and  he  had  an  eminently  constructive 
mind.  From  all  these  points  of  view  he  was 
concerned  to  endow  Canada — especially  French 
Canada — with  a  proper  system  of  municipal  and 
local  institutions.  It  has  been  already  noted  that 
municipal  reform  was  one  of  the  planks  in  the 
Whig  programme,  and  in  1835  Lord  Melbourne's 
Government  had  carried  the  celebrated  Municipal 
Corporations  Act.  Lord  Durham  was  not  a 
member  of  the  Government  at  the  time,  but  he 
was  a  leading  member  of  the  party  ;  and  it  may 
well  be  believed  that  he  was  in  full  sympathy  with 


the  movement  for  giving  self-government  to  the 
great  cities  of  England,  and  wished  to  create 
similar  institutions  in  Canada.  But  even  more  as 
an  Imperialist  than  as  a  Liberal,  he  was  anxious 
to  further  the  policy  of  local  self-government  in 
Lower  Canada,  for  he  wished  to  anglicize  Lower 
Canada,  and  he  regarded  local  and  municipal 
institutions  as  peculiarly  Anglo-Saxon.  '  Lower 
Canada  remains  without  municipal  institutions  of 
local  self-government,  which  are  the  foundations  of 
Anglo-Saxon  freedom  and  civilization '  (ii.  98-9) ; 
and  again,  referring  to  the  United  States,  '  In  the 
greater  part  of  the  States  to  which  I  refer,  the 
want  of  means  at  the  disposal  of  the  central 
executive  is  amply  supplied  by  the  efficiency  of 
the  municipal  institutions  ;  and  even  where  these 
are  wanting,  or  imperfect,  the  energy  and  self- 
governing  habits  of  an  Anglo-Saxon  population 
enable  it  to  combine  whenever  a  necessity  arises. 
But  the  French  population  of  Lower  Canada 
possesses  neither  such  institutions,  nor  such  a 
character.  Accustomed  to  rely  entirely  on  the 
government,  it  has  no  power  of  doing  anything 
for  itself,  much  less  of  aiding  the  central  authority ' 
(ii.  112-13).  Lord  Durham's  contention  was  in 
effect,  that  under  the  old  French  regime  local 
liberties  and  responsibilities  had  been  unknown  ; 
that,  when  Great  Britain  took  over  French  Canada, 
French  centralization  and  despotism  had  been 
abolished  without  substituting  for  it  Anglo-Saxon 
municipal  and  local  institutions;  and  that  French 
Canada  could  only  be  made  British  by  being  given 
these  liberties,  while  conversely  the  liberties  could 


only  be  appreciated  and  put  to  proper  use,  if 
French  Canada  were  anglicized.  A  similar  train 
of  reasoning  will  be  found  in  the  Report  of  the 
Assistant  Commissioners.  '  The  simple  question  at 
issue  is,  whether  the  province  shall  remain  French, 
or  stand  still  until  pushed  forward  by  the  aggres- 
sive movements  of  the  United  States,  or  become 
English  in  the  progressive  and  prosperous  action, 
as  well  as  in  the  outward  and  visible  character  of 
its  institutions  '  (iii.  230). 

Apart  from  his  desire  to  convert  Lower  Canada 
into  a  British  province,  Lord  Durham,  as  a  con- 
structive statesman,  as  a  man  who  wished  to 
create  and  to  build  up,  attached  the  greatest 
importance  to  municipal  institutions.  He  regarded, 
and  rightly  regarded,  municipal  and  parish  work 
as  a  training  ground  for  higher  politics,  and  he 
criticized  the  action  of  the  British  Government  in 
giving  to  the  people  of  Lower  Canada  representa- 
tive government  without  at  the  same  time  giving 
them  municipal  institutions.  '  If  the  wise  example 
of  those  countries  in  which  a  free  representative 
government  has  alone  worked  well,  had  been  in  all 
respects  followed  in  Lower  Canada,  care  would 
have  been  taken  that,  at  the  same  time  that 
a  Parliamentary  system,  based  on  a  very  extended 
suffrage,  was  introduced  into  the  country,  the 
people  should  have  been  entrusted  with  a  com- 
plete control  over  their  own  local  affairs,  and  been 
trained  for  taking  their  part  in  the  concerns  of 
the  Province,  by  their  experience  in  the  manage- 
ment of  that  local  business  which  was  most  in- 
teresting and  most  easily  intelligible  to  them.  But 


the  inhabitants  of  Lower  Canada  were  unhappily 
initiated  into  self-government  at  exactly  the  wrong 
end,  and  those  who  were  not  entrusted  with  the 
management  of  a  parish,  were  enabled,  by  their 
votes,  to  influence  the  destinies  of  a  State '  (ii.  113). 
Holding  municipal  institutions  to  be  an  integral 
part  of  the  structure  of  a  well-organized  com- 
munity, he  embodied  in  his  own  scheme  for  the 
union  of  the  two  Canadas  '  a  plan  of  local  govern- 
ment by  elective  bodies  subordinate  to  the  General 
Legislature '  (ii.  324) ;  and,  in  discussing  the  possi- 
bility of  a  union  of  the  whole  of  the  British  North 
American  provinces,he  expressed  his  opinion  that  the 
formation  of  municipal  bodies  would  be  'an essential 
part  of  any  durable  and  complete  Union '  (ii.  322). 
But  again,  it  was  not  only  as  a  Liberal  Imperia- 
list, intent  on  building  up  a  community,  that  Lord 
Durham  expressed  this  opinion  and  advocated  so 
strongly  municipal  institutions.  He  advocated 
them  also  as  what  might  be  styled  a  Conservative 
reformer ;  for,  as  has  been  pointed  out  already  > 
he  regarded  the  creation  of  municipal  and  local 
institutions  as  a  necessary  check  upon  the  general 
legislature  which  he  proposed  to  call  into  being, 
and  to  which  he  intended  to  entrust  the  powers"  of 
responsible  government ;  and  he  took  this  view 
very  especially  because,  having  under  his  eyes  the 
abuses  of  which  the  Quebec  Assembly  had  been 
guilty,  he  wished  to  remove  from  the  General 
Legislature  of  the  future  the  opportunities  for  local 
jobbery.  It  was  with  the  same  object  that  he  laid 
down  that  money  votes  should  be  initiated  only 
by  the  ministers  of  the  Crown.  How  right  he  was 


in  this  view,  and  how  essential  it  was  to  create 
municipal  machinery  for  the  purpose,  is  shown 
by  the  dispatch  in  which,  at  the  end  of  1839, 
his  successor,  Poulett  Thomson,  afterwards  Lord 
Sydenham,  made  his  recommendations  to  Lord 
John  Russell  on  the  subject  of  the  coming  Union 
Bill.  He  wrote  that : 

'  One  of  the  most  important  provisions  in  the 
plan  proposed  last  session,  one  on  which  the  Earl 
of  Durham  has  justly  laid  the  greatest  stress,  and 
of  which  I  find  the  strongest  approbation  expressed 
in  the  Canadas,  is  that  which  restricts  the  initiative 
of  money  votes  in  the  House  of  Assembly  to  the 
Government,  and  which  is  calculated  to  put  an  end 
to  the  disgraceful  system  of  local  jobbing  for  Parlia- 
mentary grants,  which  has  prevailed  in  both  pro- 
vinces. But  if  this  provision  be  adhered  to— 
and  without  it  I  should  think  the  Bill  of  little 
comparative  value — it  is  absolutely  necessary  to 
provide  machinery  by  which  local  taxation  can 
be  raised  for  local  purposes.  Thus  the  establish- 
ment of  municipal  institutions  becomes  a  necessary 
part  of  the  Union  Bill.' 1 

A  man  who  was,  as  Lord  Durham  was,  a  heart- 
whole  believer  in  responsible  government,  but  who 
was,  as  Lord  Durham  was  not,  purely  a  political 
theorist,  might  well  have  argued,  Give  the  people 
the  right  to  govern  themselves,  and  they  will  at 
once  see  the  necessity  of  having  local  institutions, 
and  forthwith  call  them  into  existence.  Lord 
Durham  thought  otherwise,  for  his  political  doc- 
trines were  leavened  with  common  sense.  It  was 

1  House  of  Commons  Paper,  147,  March  23, 1840.  Copies  or  Extracts 
of  Correspondence  relative  to  the  Re-union  of  the  Provinces  of  t'pjx-r 
and  Lower  Canada,  p.  31. 


not  that  he  doubted  whether  the  popular  Legis- 
latures, if  left  to  themselves,  would  do  the  right 
thing  in  the  matter  of  local  institutions  ;  he  was 
quite  certain  that  at  the  outset  they  would  not, 
for  he  recognized  the  limitations  and  shortcomings 
of  democracy,  in  small,  untrained  communities. 
And  being  thus  persuaded  in  his  own  mind,  he 
would  have  none  of  the  ordinary  Whig  platitudes 
as  to  trusting  the  people,  but  held  it  to  be  incum- 
bent upon  the  Imperial  Government  to  withhold 
from  the  Colonial  Legislatures  the  power  of  mischief. 

4  The  establishment  of  a  good  system  of  muni- 
cipal institutions  throughout  these  provinces  is 
a  matter  of  vital  importance.  A  general  legis- 
lature, which  manages  the  private  business  of 
every  parish,  in  addition  to  the  common  business 
of  the  country,  wields  a  power  which  no  single 
body,  however  popular  in  its  constitution,  ought  to 
have.  ...  It  is  in  vain  to  expect  that  this  sacrifice 
of  power  will  be  voluntarily  made  by  any  repre- 
sentative body.  The  establishment  of  municipal 
institutions  for  the  whole  country  should  be  made 
a  part  of  every  colonial  constitution  ;  and  the 
prerogative  of  the  Crown  should  be  constantly 
interposed  to  check  any  encroachment  on  the 
functions  of  the  local  bodies,  until  the  people 
should  become  alive,  as  most  assuredly  they 
almost  immediately  would  be,  to  the  necessity  of 
protecting  their  local  privileges  '  (ii.  287). 

That  his  views  on  this  point  were  accurate  and 
true  has  been  shown  by  subsequent  colonial  his- 
tory,1 as  it  had  already  in  effect  been  proved  by 

1  Reference  should  be  made  to  the  second  edition  of  Merivale's 
Lectures  on  Colonization  and  Colonies,  Appendix  to  Lecture  XXII, 
pp.  651-4.  See  above,  pp.  151-2  and  note,  and  below,  pp.  297-8. 


the  history  of  Lower  Canada ;  for  it  was  due  to  the 
representative  Legislature  of  Quebec,  not  to  any 
want  of  goodwill  on  the  part  of  the  Imperial 
Government,  that  municipal  institutions  were  not 
existing  and  flourishing  in  Lower  Canada.  Lord 
Durham  blamed  the  Home  Government  for  not 
having  insisted  on  such  institutions,  for  not  having 
brought  them  into  being  at  the  time  when  repre- 
sentative government  was  given  to  the  province 
in  1791,  and  it  is  a  little  difficult  to  decide  how 
far  this  criticism  was  well  founded.  He  does  not 
notice  that  the  Quebec  Act  of  1774,  which  gave 
to  the  province  of  Quebec,  as  it  then  was,  a  nomi- 
nated Legislative  Council,  while  withholding  from 
it  the  power  of  taxation,  gave  it  explicitly  full 
powers  to  authorize  towns  and  districts  to  levy 
local  rates  '  for  the  purpose  of  making  roads, 
erecting  and  repairing  public  buildings,  or  for  any 
other  purpose  respecting  the  local  convenience  and 
economy  of  such  town  or  district  V  In  1786  the 
magistrates  of  Cataraqui,  afterwards  Kingston,  in 
what  was  a  few  years  later  the  province  of  Upper 
Canada,  represented  that  '  the  election  or  appoint- 
ment of  proper  officers  in  the  several  townships  to 
see  that  the  necessary  roads  be  opened  and  kept 
in  proper  repair,  we  conceive,  would  be  of  great 
utility,  by  facilitating  the  communication  with  all 
parts  of  the  settlement ' ; 2  and  though  the  con- 
stitutional Act  of  1791  was  silent  on  the  subject  of 

1  Section  XIII. 

1  See  Shortt  and  Doughty,  Documents  relating  to  the  Constitutional 
History  of  Canada,  p.  643.  The  note  at  the  bottom  of  the  page  is, '  This 
is  the  beginning  of  the  agitation  in  the  western  settlements  for  the 
introduction  of  municipal  government.' 


municipal  institutions,  as  the  Union  Act  of  1840, 
save  in  the  matter  of  authorizing  the  constitution 
of  townships,1  was  silent  also,  there  was  nothing 
to  forbid  the  Legislatures  of  the  two  provinces 
from  inaugurating  municipal  institutions,  and  as 
a  matter  of  fact,  in  Upper  Canada,  the  machinery 
of  local  administration  was  actually  brought  into 

But  Lord  Durham,  it  must  be  repeated,  was  not 
satisfied  with  permissive  legislation.  Municipal  in- 
stitutions were  with  him  a  vital  necessity.  It  was 
his  creed  that  a  community  should  be  given  self- 
government  in  balanced  proportions ;  that  as 
the  Act  of  1791  erred  in  granting  representative 
institutions  without  responsible  government,  so  it 
erred  in  granting  those  institutions  to  the  whole 
province,  without  at  the  same  time  granting  them 
within  defined  limits  to  the  towns  and  districts  of 
the  province.  For  the  absence  of  local  liberties, 
which  meant  local  responsibilities,  he  blamed, 
rightly  or  wrongly,  the  Imperial  Government. 
Possibly  he  overlooked  the  fact  that  the  legis- 
lators of  1791  had  not  at  their  command  the 
valuable  experience  in  colonial  matters  which  since 
that  date  had  been  painfully  accumulated;  and 
possibly  too  he  did  not  sufficiently  bear  in  mind 
the  difficulty  of  passing  a  Bill,  overloaded  with 
detail,  through  the  House  of  Commons. 

But  it  should  be  noted  that  his  view,  that  the 
Home  Government  had  been  remiss  in  not  estab- 
lishing municipal  institutions  in  the  British  North 
American  provinces,  was  shared  by  the  Assistant 

1  Section  LVIII. 


Commissioners  of  Municipal  Inquiry,  and  also  by 
Charles  Buller.  The  former  wrote  of  Lower  Canada 
'  that  although  long  under  the  rule  of  England, 
the  province  has  participated  far  too  sparingly 
in  the  benefits  of  sound  British  institutions ' 
(Appendix  C,  iii.  139) ;  while  Nova  Scotia,  that 
most  British  province,  is  described  by  Buller  as  a 
country  from  whose  institutions  '  every  vestige 
of  the  municipal  system  of  the  old  colonies  was 
jealously  excluded  '  (Appendix  B,  iii.  76). 

In  the  administration  of  their  Empire,  it  was  the 
policy  of  the  Romans  to  respect  municipal  liberties, 
and  encourage  municipal  life.  They  did  so,  it 
would  seem,  partly  because  the  towns  were  con- 
venient units  of  administration,  and  partly  in 
order  to  provide  their  subjects  with  a  substitute 
for  political  freedom  and  national  life.  At  their 
best — and  their  best  was  very  good — the  Romans 
were  despots  ;  they  always  had  in  mind  the  maxim 
Divide  et  Impera ;  they  did  not  regard  municipali- 
ties either  as  a  training  ground  for  higher  freedom, 
or  as  an  integral  part  of  an  edifice  of  constitutional 
government ;  least  of  all  did  they  contemplate  in 
them  a  necessary  check  upon  the  central  authority. 
If  what  Lord  Durham  wrote  in  his  Report  upon 
the  subject  of  local  self-government  is  contrasted 
with  what  the  historians  tell  us  in  this  regard 
of  Roman  provincial  administration,  and  if  it  is 
borne  in  mind  that  in  the  matter  of  the  municipia 
the  Romans  came  nearest  to  encouraging  freedom, 
we  can  form  some  fair  estimate  of  the  extent  to 
which  British  Imperialism  is  broader  than  the 
Imperialism  of  Rome. 


The  General  Report  of  the  Assistant  Commis- 
sioners of  Municipal  Inquiry  contains  a  good  deal 
of  matter  relating  to  the  administration  of  justice 
in  Lower  Canada.  To  this  subject  Lord  Durham 
devoted  several  pages  of  his  Report,  commenting 
severely  upon/ '  the  mischievous  results  prominently 
exhibited  in  the  provision  which  the  Government 
of  Lower  Canada  makes  for  the  first  want  of 
a  people,  the  efficient  administration  of  justice  ' 
(ii.  116).  His  criticisms  are  almost  entirely  con- 
fined to  the  case  of  Lower  Canada,  where  difference 
of  race,  law,  and  custom  had  led  to  complica- 
tion and  confusion ;  and  only  one  paragraph,  on 
pp.  182-3,  refers  to  administration  of  justice  in 
the  Upper  Province. 

The  British  Government  had  begun  by  intro- 
ducing, or  trying  to  introduce,  into  the  Province  of 
Quebec  the  law  of  England,  both  in  criminal  and 
in  civil  matters.  By  the  terms  of  the  Royal  Pro- 
clamation of  1763,  the  Governor  in  Council  was 
empowered  to  constitute  Courts  of  Justice,  '  for 
hearing  and  determining  all  causes,  as  well  criminal 
as  civil,  according  to  law  and  equity,  and  as  near  as 
may  be  agreeable  to  the  laws  of  England.'  On  this 
basis,  in  September  1764,  Governor  Murray  passed 
an  ordinance  establishing  a  superior  Court  of  Judi- 
cature or  Court  of  King's  Bench,  and  an  inferior 
Court  of  Judicature,  or  Court  of  Common  Pleas, 
and  introducing  trial  by  jury,  Justices  of  the  Peace, 
and  Quarter  Sessions.  The  Quebec  Act  of  1774, 
while  continuing  the  law  of  England  in  criminal 


matters,  restored  as  a  whole 1  French  law  and 
custom  in  civil  matters,  thereby  abolishing  in 
civil  cases  trial  by  jury;  and  this  compromise 
in  the  main  prevailed  down  to  the  date  at  which 
Lord  Durham  wrote.  It  is  obvious  that  under  the 
circumstances  some  confusion  was  inevitable,  and 
that  technical  difficulties  must  have  arisen  in  the 
endeavour  to  deal  fairly  by  two  races  with  separate 
customs  and  traditions  in  one  province  ;  but  the 
interesting  point  to  note  is  how  in  the  matter  of 
administration  of  justice,  as  in  regard  to  other 
subjects  dealt  with  in  his  report,  Lord  Durham 
held  the  Imperial  Government  responsible.  The 
Imperial  Government,  and  the  Governors  who  were 
sent  to  Canada,  had  no  other  object  or  desire  in 
connexion  with  the  administration  of  justice  than 
to  give  to  the  province  of  Lower  Canada  the  laws 
and  procedure  which  the  time  and  place  seemed  to 
demand.  They  were  not  the  obstacle  to  adequate 
and  efficient  administration  of  justice  ;  the  blame 
rested  with  the  Quebec  Legislature  ;  but  Lord 
Durham  censured  the  Home  Government  at  once 
for  not  giving  larger  powers  to  the  Legislature,  and 
for  not  insisting  upon  that  Legislature  doing  its 
duty.  Presumably  he  would  have  contended  that, 
had  responsible  government  been  in  existence, 
little  or  no  blame  would  have  attached  to  the 
authorities  in  England  for  shortcomings  in  adminis- 
tration of  justice,  or  in  any  other  matter ;  but  that, 
inasmuch  as  under  the  constitution  of  1791  the 
ultimate  responsibility  still  remained  with  the 

1  Section  IX  excepted  lands  granted  or  to  be  granted  in  free  and 
common  soccage.  See  what  Lord  Durham  says  on  pp.  69  and  116 
(vol.  ii)  of  the  Report. 


Imperial  Government,  that  Government  was  to 
blame  in  giving  so  much  latitude  to  the  representa- 
tive assembly  in  the  province,  and  not  at  the  same 
time  ensuring  that  the  French  Canadian  legislators 
passed  the  measures  which  were  obviously  re- 
quired for  the  good  of  the  community.  From  the 
time  of  Sir  James  Craig  the  Quebec  Legislature 
had  instituted  a  regular  crusade  against  the 
judges.  Jonathan  Sewell,  who  was  appointed 
Chief  Justice  of  Lower  Canada  in  1808,  and  who 
only  retired  at  the  time  of  Lord  Durham's  Mission, 
had  been  the  object  of  special  hostility,  but  other 
judges  also  had  been  arraigned  one  after  another 
in  spiteful  and  vindictive  fashion.  One  reason 
probably  was  that  the  judges  were  mainly  British, 
and  in  earlier  days,  at  any  rate,  imported  from 
outside,  not  always  with  much  regard  to  suit- 
ability for  their  work.  Another  reason  was  that 
they  stood  rather  especially  for  independence  of 
the  votes  of  the  popular  assembly  ;  while  a  third 
and  potent  reason  was  that  they  were  not  held 
aloof  from  politics.  In  the  early  stages  of  a  colony, 
a  man  who  has  been  selected  to  hold  the  post  of 
Chief  Justice,  may  well,  by  his  training  and  stand- 
ing, be  a  valuable  public  asset  to  the  Government 
and  to  the  community,  apart  from  his  judicial 
functions ;  and  a  good  case  may  be  made  for  not  ex- 
cluding him  from  the  advisory  council  or  the  Legis- 
lature, provided  that  he  is  not  subject  to  popular 
election.  Even'at  the  present  day,  in  some  Crown 
Colonies,  the  Chief  Justice  is  a  member  of  the 
Executive  Council,  or  of  the  Legislative  Council,  or 
of  both.  Sewell  was  Speaker  of  the  Legislative 

1352-1  O 


Council  in  Lower  Canada,  as  Beverley  Robinson 
was  of  the  Council  in  the  Upper  Province,  and  the 
stronger  and  more  efficient  the  particular  judge 
was,  the  more  he  tended  to  attract  the  opposition 
of  the  popular  party.  In  1831  Lord  Goderich,  as 
Secretary  of  State,  instructed  the  Governor '  to  com- 
municate to  the  Legislative  Council  and  Assembly 
His  Majesty's  settled  purpose  to  nominate  on  no 
future  occasion  a  judge  either  as  a  member  of  the 
Executive  or  Legislative  Council  of  the  Province  ', 
with  one  exception,  that  exception  being  the  Chief 
Justice  of  Lower  Canada,  whose  presence  in  the 
Legislative  Council  was  thought  advisable  in  con- 
nexion with  legislation,  but  who  was  to  be  in- 
structed to  hold  aloof  from  all  party  proceedings.1 
Lord  Goderich,  at  the  same  time  and  in  the  same 
dispatch,  proposed  that,  as  in  England  so  in  Lower 
Canada,  the  judges  should  be  given  by  Act  of  the 
Legislature  permanent  salaries  and  complete  inde- 
pendence— pending  good  behaviour — both  of  the 
Royal  pleasure  and  of  the  popular  assembly.  But 
independence  of  the  judges  was  abominable  to  the 
Quebec  Assembly,2  and  the  question  was  still  out- 
standing at  the  time  of  Lord  Durham's  Mission, 
with  the  result  that  one  of  his  recommendations 
was  (ii.  327)  that  '  the  independence  of  the  Judges 
should  be  secured,  by  giving  them  the  same 
tenure  of  office  and  security  of  income  as  exist 
in  England '. 

'  See  Christie,  vol.  iii,  p.  366,  and  see  above,  p.  59. 

2  See  ii.  88  of  the  Report,  in  which  Lord  Durham  gives  an  instance  of 
the  Quebec  Legislature  having  resort  to  'tacking',  in  order  to  defeat 
legislation  for  securing  the  independence  of  the  judges. 


It  is  very  noteworthy  in  the  history  of  Canada, 
how  anxious  the  Imperial  Government  and  the 
Colonial  Ministers  were  to  reproduce  in  Canada 
the  conditions  which  prevailed  in  England,  in  the 
honest  belief  that  what  suited  England  must  suit 
Canada ;  whereas  it  was  inevitable  that  much  that 
was  suitable  and  congenial  to  an  old  and  purely 
British  country  was  not  adapted  to  a  new  land  in 
which  a  large  proportion  of  the  inhabitants  were 
not  British.  Thus  provision  was  made  in  the  Con- 
stitutional Act  of  1791  for  enabling  the  Crown  to 
connect  hereditary  titles  of  honour  with  member- 
ship of  the  Legislative  Council,  and  the  correspon- 
dence which  preceded  the  passing  of  the  Act  showed 
that  the  Government  would  have  desired  to  go 
farther  in  the  direction  of  giving  distinction  to 
members  of  the  Upper  Chamber,  and  introducing 
the  hereditary  principle  ;  but  the  man  on  the  spot, 
the  experienced  Governor,  Lord  Dorchester,  dis- 
couraged the  attempt  to  reproduce  in  one  form  or 
another  a  House  of  Lords.  '  Many  advantages,' 
he  wrote,  '  might  result  from  an  hereditary  Legis- 
lative Council,  distinguished  by  some  mark  of 
honour,  did  the  condition  of  the  country  concur 
in  supporting  this  dignity  ;  but  the  fluctuating 
state  of  property  in  these  provinces  would  expose 
all  hereditary  honours  to  fall  into  disregard  ;  for 
the  present  therefore  it  would  seem  more  advisable 
to  appoint  the  members  during  life,  good  behaviour, 
and  residence  in  the  province.'  l  His  advice  was 

1  Shortt  and  Doughty,  p.  675.  Similarly  in  the  summary  of  recom- 
mendations at  the  end  of  his  Report,  speaking  of  the  Legislative 
Councils,  Lord  Durham  says,  '  The  analogy  which  some  persons  have 



not  followed  so  far  as  to  omit  from  the  Act  all 
mention  of  the  subject,  but  it  was  followed  in  that 
the  sections  which  referred  to  it  remained  a  dead 

The  same  Act  contained  the  sections  which  con- 
stituted the  clergy  reserves  and  endowed  the  Church 
of  England,  and  on  this  subject  Lord  Durham  took 
up  his  parable  in  words  which  have  been  already 
quoted,  pointing  out  that  '  the  apparent  right 
which  time  and  custom  give  to  the  maintenance 
of  an  ancient  and  respected  institution  cannot 
exist  in  a  recently  settled  country,  in  which  every- 
thing is  new'  (ii.  178).  But  apparently  one  of  the 
most  unfortunate  attempts  to  reproduce  English 
institutions  in  Lower  Canada  was  the  introduction 
of  the  system  of  unpaid  Justices  of  the  Peace. 
'  The  system  of  unpaid  magistracy,  as  incidental 
to  the  criminal  law  of  England,  was  naturally 
introduced  into  the  province  with  that  law ;  and 
the  utter  unfitness  of  the  people  for  such  an 
institution  is  a  striking  instance  of  the  imprudence 
of  unadvisedly  engrafting  the  code  of  one  country 
on  that  of  another '  (Appendix  C,  iii.  160).  This  was 
the  verdict  of  the  Assistant  Commissioners  of 
Municipal  Inquiry,  who  further  pointed  out  that 
the  Provincial  Legislature,  by  enacting  that  every 

attempted  to  draw  between  the  House  of  Lords  and  the  Legislative 
Councils  seems  to  me  erroneous.  The  constitution  of  the  House  of 
Lords  is  consonant  with  the  frame  of  English  society ;  and  as  the  crea- 
tion of  a  precisely  similar  body  in  such  a  state  of  society  as  that  of 
these  colonies  is  impossible,  it  has  always  appeared  to  me  most  unwise 
to  attempt  to  supply  its  place  by  one  which  has  no  point  of  resem- 
blance to  it,  except  that  of  being  a  non-elective  check  on  the  elective 
branch  of  the  Legislature  '  (ii.  325). 


Justice  of  the  Peace  must  possess  a  certain  amount 
of  landed  property,  in  accordance  with  the  pre- 
cedent set  in  the  English  counties,  practically 
excluded  from  the  Commission  of  the  Peace  British 
merchants  who  lived  in  the  towns  and  did  not  own 
land.  Lord  Durham  was  equally  emphatic  as  to 
the  uns'uitability  of  an  unpaid  magistracy  to  the 
case  of  Lower  Canada.  '  When  we  transplant  the 
institutions  of  England  into  our  colonies,'  he  wrote, 
'  we  ought  at  least  to  take  care  beforehand  that 
the  social  state  of  the.  Colony  should  possess  those 
peculiar  materials  on  which  alone  the  excellence 
of  those  institutions  depends  in  the  mother  coun- 
try'  (ii.  131),  and  he  suggested  that  under  existing 
conditions,  a  small  stipendiary  magistracy  would 
be  preferable  not  only  in  Lower  Canada  but  in 
Upper  Canada  also. 

Bad,  however,  as  had  been  the  result  of  intro- 
ducing the  system  of  unpaid  Justices  of  the  Peace 
into  Lower  Canada,  Lord  Durham  laid  down 
(ii.  126)  that  '  the  most  serious  mischief  in  the 
administration  of  criminal  justice  arises  from  the 
entire  perversion  of  the  institution  of  juries,  by 
the  political  and  national  prejudices  of  the  people  '. 
Early  in  the  Report,  when  illustrating  the  intense 
animosities  of  race  in  Lower  Canada,  he  shows 
how  the  jury  system  had  been  used  to  obstruct 
justice,  a  conspicuous  instance  being  the  acquittal 
of  the  murderers  of  Chartrand l  (ii.  52-4) ;  and 
he  returns  to  the  point,  when  he  deals  especially 
with  the  subject  of  administration  of  justice  in 
Lower  Canada.  In  the  paragraph,  which  has  for 

1  See  above,  p.  95,  and  see  note  (2)  to  voL  ii,  p.  54. 


its  side-note  '  perversion  of  juries '  (ii.  126),  he 
points  out  how  the  practical  effect  of  following 
English  practice  in  the  selection  of  juries  had 
been  to  give  the  French  an  entire  preponderance, 
to  produce  miscarriage  of  justice,  and  to  destroy 
public  confidence  in  the  administration  of  the 
criminal  law.  His  summary  is  (ii.  130)  that  '  The 
trial  by  jury  is,  therefore,  at  the  present  moment, 
not  only  productive  in  Lower  Canada  of  no  con- 
fidence in  the  honest  administration  of  the  laws, 
but  also  provides  impunity  for  every  political 
offence  '  ;  and  it  seems  strange  that  he  did  not 
make  any  definite  recommendation  that  the  system 
should  for  the  time  be  suspended.  But  though 
trial  by  jury,  which  the  English  had  brought  into 
Lower  Canada,  proved  under  conditions  of  ex- 
treme race  bitterness  to  be  a  temporary  failure, 
it  was  not,  in  criminal  matters  at  any  rate,  like 
various  other  English  institutions,  permanently 
out  of  place  in  the  province.  It  failed  utterly  for 
the  time  being,  as  it  has  failed  at  times  of  political 
excitement  in  various  other  countries,  notably 
Ireland  ;  but  it  must  not  be  classed  with  the  mis- 
fits with  which  the  English,  in  good  intention, 
have  from  time  to  time  endowed  one  or  another 
province  of  the  Empire. 

On  the  subject  of  Appeal  Courts,  reference 
should  be  made  to  a  note  which  has  been  appended 
to  the  passages  in  the  Report  which  deal  with  this 
subject  (ii.  121).  From  the  dispatches  which  were 
laid  before  Parliament  in  1839,  it  would  seem  that 
Durham,  while  in  Canada,  was  credited  or  dis- 
credited in  England  with  having  created  a  new 


Court  of  Appeal  for  Lower  Canada ;  whereas  he 
left  the  Executive  Council,  as  he  found  it,  the 
Court  of  Appeal  for  the  province,  but  made  it 
more  effective  for  the  purpose  by  swearing  in  an 
additional  number  of  judges  as  Executive  Coun- 
cillors, and  by  not  summoning  to  the  Council,  when 
it  sat  as  a  Court  of  Appeal  only,  those  Executive 
Councillors  who  had  no  legal  training.1 

At  the  same  time,  in  the  dispatch  which  he  wrote 
on  the  subject  from  Canada  to  Lord  Glenelg,  he 
said  plainly  :  '  Had  I  possessed  the  means  and 
the  power,  I  should  have  been  glad  to  have  given 
the  province  a  completely  competent  and  per- 
manent Court  of  Appeals,  consisting  entirely  of 
lawyers,  for  it  is  much  wanted  and  called  for,  and 
forms  one  feature  of  the  plan  which  I  had  in  view 
for  the  future  government  of  the  provinces.'  The 
summary  of  his  recommendations  at  the  end  of 
the  Report  does  not  include  a  new  Court  of  Appeal 
for  Lower  Canada  or  for  the  two  Canadas  only, 
but  it  includes,  as  has  been  already  noticed,  '  a 
supreme  Court  of  Appeal  for  all  the  North  American 
colonies  '  (ii.  325).  The  101st  section  of  the  British 
North  America  Act  of  1 867  empowered  the  Dominion 
Parliament  to  provide  such  a  general  Court  of 
Appeal  for  Canada,  and  in  1875  that  Court  came 
into  existence  under  the  name  of  the  Supreme 
Court  of  Canada. 

1  See  the  Report,  ii.  123,  and  see  Lord  Durham's  dispatch  to  Lord 
Glenelg  of  September  29,  1838.  House  of  Commons  Paper,  British 
North  America,  February  11,  1839,  p.  194.  See  also  Buller's  Sketch  of 
Lord  Durham's  Mission,  iii.  351,  352. 



In  the  matter  of  education  in  Lower  Canada, 
Lord  Durham  criticizes  the  Government  very 
severely.  He  tells  us  early  in  his  Report  (ii.  27-34) 
that  under  the  French  regime  no  general  provision 
was  made  for  education,  and  goes  on  to  speak 
of  the  entire  neglect  of  education  by  the  British 
government.  Later  on  (ii.  136)  he  writes :  '  I  am 
grieved  to  be  obliged  to  remark,  that  the  British 
government  has,  since  its  possession  of  this  Pro- 
vince, done,  or  even  attempted,  nothing  for  the 
promotion  of  general  education.'  Similarly  Arthur 
Buller,  the  commissioner  whom  he  appointed  to 
inquire  into  the  state  of  education  in  Lower 
Canada,  and  whose  Report  forms  Appendix  D, 
writes  (iii.  246)  :  '  Up  to  this  moment  the  only  acts 
of  the  British  government,  in  respect  of  Canadian 
instruction,  have  been  the  wholesale  seizure  and 
the  partial  restoration  of  the  Jesuits'  estates.' 
How  far  were  these  criticisms  well  founded  ? 

The  education  Report  gives  instances  of  educa- 
tion Acts  being  passed  by  the  local  Legislature, 
sent  home  for  the  Royal  Assent,  and  never  being 
heard  of  again.  Both  Arthur  Buller  and  Lord 
Durham  censure — with  evident  reason — the  deal- 
ings of  the  Home  Government  in  connexion  with 
the  Jesuits'  estates.  On  the  other  hand,  instances 
might  be  quoted  to  show  that  neither  Governors 
nor  Secretaries  of  State  were  unmindful  of  the 
importance  of  education;  and  Lord  Glenelg,  when 
inviting  '  the  most  serious  attention '  of  Lord 
Gosford  and  his  colleagues  to  the  state  of  educa- 


tion  in  Lower  Canada,  speaks  of  '  the  earnest 
endeavours  of  my  predecessors  on  .this  subject', 
which  had  been  repeatedly  frustrated;  although,  at 
the  same  time,  he  seems  to  admit  that  the  Imperial 
Government  might  not  have  been  sufficiently 
prompt  in  devising  a  well-considered  system  of 
education1  for  the  province. 

The  education  Report,  as  a  whole,  seems  to  show 
that  the  Quebec  Assembly  was  mainly  responsible 
for  the  want  of  a  good  educational  system  in  Lower 
Canada,  and  that,  if  the  Imperial  Government 
was  to  blame,  its  fault  consisted  in  not  having 
made  the  local  Legislature  do  its  duty.  Arthur 
Buller  advocated,  as  strongly  as  Lord  Durham 
himself,  the  Anglifying  of  Lower  Canada ;  and  this 
process  was  to  be  carried  out  by  a  system  of 
common  schools,  instead  of  letting  French  and 
English  children  learn  their  lessons  and  play  their 
games  apart.  '  Until  Canada  is  nationalized  and 
Aiiglified,  it  is  idle  for  England  to  be  devising 
schemes  for  her  improvement.  In  this  great  work 
of  nationalization,  education  is  at  once  the  most 
convenient  and  powerful  instrument '  (iii.  273). 
Similarly,  before  the  Constitutional  Act  of  1791 
was  passed,  in  October  1784,  Hugh  Finlay,  the 
Postmaster-General  of  the  Province  of  Quebec, 
wrote  :  '  Before  we  think  of  a  House  of  Assembly 
for  this  country,  let  us  lay  a  foundation  for  useful 
knowledge  to  fit  the  people  to  judge  of  their  situa- 
tion, and  deliberate  for  the  future  wellbeing  of  the 
Province.  The  first  step  towards  this  desirable 

1  See  House  of  Commons  Paper,  No.  113,  March,  1836,  Copy  of  the 
Instructions  given  to  the  Earl  of  Gosford,  &c.,  p.  15. 


end  is  to  have  a  free  school  in  every  parish.  Let 
the  schoolmasters  be  English,  if  we  would  make 
Englishmen  of  the  Canadians.'  l  If  then  the  British 
Government  was  to  be  blamed  for  the  want  of 
a  sound  system  of  education  among  the  peasantry 
of  Lower  Canada,  and  if  the  essence  of  a  sound 
system  of  education  was  the  establishment  of 
common  schools,  in  which  the  children  were  to  be 
brought  up  to  be  British  and  not  French,  then  it 
must  be  summed  up  that  the  fault  of  the  Imperial 
Government  consisted  in  not  over-riding  popular 
wishes,  traditions,  and  prejudices,  in  not  forcing 
a  French  people  and  a  Roman  Catholic  Church— 
the  latter  distinguished,  as  Arthur  Buller  is  careful 
to  tell  us,  by  '  the  most  undeviating  allegiance 
to  the  British  Crown '  (iii.  241), — to  extinguish 
their  nationality  and  give  up  the  principle  of 
separate  schools. 

Lord  Durham,  as  well  as  Arthur  Buller,  saw  the 
difficulty  of  the  position  and  the  obstacles  which 
the  clergy,  not  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Church 
alone,  would  place  in  the  way  of  non-sectarian 
education.  He  expresses  his  confidence,  notwith- 
standing, '  that  the  establishment  of  a  strong 
popular  government  in  this  province  would  very 
soon  lead  to  the  introduction  of  a  liberal  and 
general  system  of  public  education'  (ii.  136);  and 
then,  in  the  words  which  have  been  quoted,  he 
goes  on  to  blame  the  British  Government  for  having 
done  nothing  in  the  matter. 

The   Report  of  the  Commissioner    of   Inquiry 

1  Finlay  to  Nepean,  Quebec,  October  22,  1784  (Shortt  and  Doughty, 
p.  500);  but  Finlay  would  have  allowed  the  masters  to  be  Roman 


into  the  state  of  Education  in  Lower  Canada  is 
dated  Quebec,  15th  November  1838;  but,  from  the 
wording  of  the  Report,  it  is  clear  that  it  was  not 
written,  at  any  rate  in  part,  until  a  later  date  ; 
and  it  was  not  laid  before  Parliament  until  June 
1839,  whereas  Lord  Durham's  own  Report  was  pre- 
sented in  the  previous  February.  Lord  Durham, 
therefore,  speaks  of  the  results  of  the  Education 
Inquiry  as  not  complete  (ii.  134),  and  his  own  com- 
ments are  mainly  confined  to  emphasizing  the  very 
defective  state  of  elementary  education  in  Lower 
Canada,  and  in  one  passage  (ii.  94)  enlarging  upon 
the  extent  to  which  political  jobbery  had  entered 
into  educational  grants.  It  may  be  noted  that 
Lord  Gosford  and  his  fellow  commissioners  also 
dealt  very  briefly  with  this  thorny  subject  in  their 
General  Report  on  Lower  Canada  in  November 
1836,  and  in  regard  to  religious  instruction,  con- 
fined themselves  to  generalities  and  to  a  pious 
hope  '  that  a  system  of  education  founded  on  the 
truly  Christian  principle  of  toleration  and  general 
charity  would  not  be  unattainable  '.1 

Lord  Durham's  Commissioner  of  Inquiry,  Arthur 
Buller,  was  the  younger  brother  of  Charles  Buller, 
and,  like  the  latter,  had  been  a  pupil  of  Carlyle.  The 
family  ability  is  evident  in  his  Report,  and  though 
his  work  was  cut  short  by  Lord  Durham's  resigna- 
tion, he  collected  and  embodied  in  the  Report  a 
great  amount  of  valuable  information,  which  was 
supplemented  by  a  very  exhaustive  Report  on  the 

1  Reports  of  Commissioners  on  Grievances  complained  of  in  Lower 
Canada.  House  of  Commons  Paper,  No.  50,  February  20, 1837,  General 
Report,  p.  50. 


Jesuits'  estates,  compiled  by  Mr.  Dunkin,  the 
Secretary  to  the  Education  Commission.  Buller 
comments  on  the  dealings  or  misdealings  of  the 
British  Government  with  the  Jesuits'  estates, 
which  were  in  1831  handed  over  to  the  Colonial 
Legislature  for  the  purposes  of  education.  He  gives 
some  account  of  the  education  Acts  which  were 
passed  by  that  Legislature,  and  of  the  education 
Bills  which  did  not  become  law  ;  and  he  sums  up 
(iii.  265)  that  education  in  Lower  Canada  '  lan- 
guished under  systems  where  the  masters  were 
illiterate  and  needy ;  the  supervision  careless  and 
dishonest ;  the  school-houses  unfit  for  occupation, 
and  ill  supplied  with  fuel ;  the  children  unpro- 
vided with  books  ;  and  parents  utterly  indifferent 
to  an  institution  of  which  they  could  not  appreciate 
the  importance,  and  the  trouble  and  cost  of  which, 
at  all  events,  they  deemed  the  province  of  the 
legislature  '.  This  deplorable  result  he  attributed 
mainly  to  the  fact  that  education  had  been  made 
by  the  House  of  Assembly  subservient  to  politics. 
'  The  moment  they  found  that  their  educational 
provisions  could  be  turned  to  political  account, 
from  that  moment  those  provisions  were  framed 
with  a  view  to  promote  party  rather  than  educa- 
tion '  (iii.  266).  The  utter  breakdown  of  all  previous 
education  schemes,  however,  had  in  his  eyes  the 
merit  that  it  left  the  field  clear  for  a  wholly  new 
system,  which  he  proceeded  to  recommend,  the 
basis  of  his  proposals,  as  has  already  been  stated, 
being  that  '  the  principle  of  Anglification  is  to  be 
unequivocally  recognized,  and  inflexibly  carried 
out '  (iii.  288). 


He  tells  us  that,  in  making  his  proposals,  he  took 
for  his  models  the  educational  systems  in  force  in 
Prussia  and  the  United  States ;  and  it  may  be 
noted  that  the  Gosford  Commission  mentions  'that 
the  Report  of  M.  Cousin  on  the  state  of  education 
in  Prussia,  as  well  as  several  works  on  the  subject 
of  education  in  the  United  States,  are  beginning 
to  attract  notice  in  the  Province  V  The  chief 
features  of  the  proposals  were,  that  there  should 
be  common  elementary  schools  for  the  children 
of  all  denominations,  in  which  undenominational 
Christianity  should  be  taught  from  an  approved 
book  of  Bible  extracts,  denominational  teaching 
being  allowed  out  of  school  hours.  The  elementary 
schools  were  to  be  supplemented  by  a  certain 
number  of  model  schools,  giving  a  rather  higher 
education,  and  offering  scholarships  to  the  best 
boys  from  the  elementary  schools.  These  model 
schools  were  to  supply  pupils  to  three  normal 
schools,  in  which  the  future  schoolmasters  were  to 
be  trained  ;  and  to  the  normal  schools,  and  if 
possible  to  the  model  schools  also,  farms  were  to 
be  attached,  in  which  the  pupils  should  learn  the 
most  approved  methods  of  agriculture. 

The  elementary  and  model  schools  were  to  be 
supported  on  the  principle  which  had  been  adopted 
in  the  United  States,  viz.  by  requiring  '  each 
school  district  to  furnish,  by  assessment,  among 

1  House  of  Commons  Paper,  February  20, 1837,  General  Report,  p.  49. 
The  Cousin  referred  to  was  Victor  Cousin.  He  was  in  1831  commis- 
sioned by  the  Government  of  Louis -Philippe  to  go  to  Germany  to 
examine  the  state  of  education  there,  and  in  1832  he  published  his 
'  Rapport  sur  1'etat  de  I'instruction  publique  dans  quelques  pays  de 
1'Allemagne,  et  particulierement  en  Prusse  ', 


its  inhabitants,  an  amount  at  least  equivalent  to 
the  sum  apportioned  to  it  from  the  public  funds  ' 
(iii.  279).  The  sum  to  be  granted  from  public 
funds,  which  was  to  include  the  whole  cost  of  the 
normal  schools,  and  also  a  grant  for  the  encourage- 
ment of  superior  educational  institutions,  was  to 
be  charged  upon  a  permanent  education  fund, 
which  fund  was  to  be  supplied  from  the  proceeds 
of  the  Jesuits'  estates  and  the  clergy  reserves, 
supplemented  by  direct  grants  from  the  provincial 
treasury.  Popular  or  local  control  over  the  schools 
was  to  be  secured  in  the  following  manner  (iii.  285). 
Lower  Canada  was  to  be  divided  into  munici- 
palities, and  the  municipalities  into  districts. 
Three  school  commissioners  were  to  be  elected 
for  each  municipality,  and  three  trustees  for 
each  district.  The  commissioners  were  to  have 
vested  in  them  all  the  legal  estate  of  the  elemen- 
tary schools  in  their  respective  municipalities, 
to  receive  the  money  allotted  by  the  Govern- 
ment for  education,  and  to  distribute  it  to  the 
trustees  in  the  districts.  The  trustees  were  '  to 
manage  the  daily  concerns '  of  the  schools,  to 
receive  the  Government  grants,  to  collect  the 
money  raised  by  local  assessment,  to  pay  the 
masters,  and  in  conjunction  with  the  ministers  of 
religion  to  appoint  the  masters.  In  each  munici- 
pality there  was  to  be  a  board  of  school  visitors, 
consisting  of  *  the  resident  ministers  of  religion, 
two  residents  appointed  by  the  Inspector,  and  two 
annually  by  the  municipality  '.  There  were  to  be 
slightly  different  arrangements  for  the  three  large 
towns.  There  were  to  be  three  inspectors  for  the 


whole  province,  and  over  all,  at  the  seat  of  govern- 
ment, a  superintendent  or  chief  officer  of  instruc- 
tion, who,  as  well  as  the  three  inspectors,  was  to  be 
kept  completely  aloof  from  politics. 

Finally,  the  proposed  system,  if  and  when 
adopted  and  embodied  in  law,  was  to  be  '  gradu- 
ally put  in  force  by  a  board  of  Commissioners  some- 
what similarly  constituted  to  that  of  the  Board  of 
Poor  Law  Commissioners  in  this  country '  (iii.  293). 

Bearing  in  mind  that  the  root  principle  of  the 
scheme  was  to  make  Lower  Canada  English,  that 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church  was  whole-hearted  in 
opposition  to  it,  and  had  petitioned  Lord  Durham 
for  separate  Roman  Catholic  schools  (iii.  277),  that 
the  Church  of  England  clergy  were  almost  unani- 
mously hostile,  and  the  Presbyterians  divided 
(iii.  277,  278),  that  the  Canadian  peasantry  were 
indifferent  to  education,  and  strongly  objected  to 
being  taxed  to  pay  for  it,  it  is  difficult  to  regard 
Buller's  proposals  as  in  any  sense  practicable,  or 
to  look  upon  his  Report  as  other  than  an  interest- 
ing essay  on  what  might  have  been  ideally  the  best 
scheme  of  education  for  Lower  Canada,  if  the  actual 
conditions  had  not  presented  insuperable  diffi- 
culties to  its  adoption.  It  is  true  that  not  many 
years  had  passed  since  Catholic  emancipation  had 
been  carried  in  England,  that  in  Canada  and  else- 
where under  Protestant  rule  the  Roman  Catholics 
did  not  hold  so  assured  a  position  as  they  do  at 
the  present  day,  and  that  by  common  consent 
tolerance  and  forbearance  between  the  rival  de- 
nominations was  conspicuous  in  Lower  Canada. 
'  It  is  indeed  an  admirable  feature  of  Canadian 


society,'  Lord  Durham  writes  (ii.  39),  *  that  it  is 
entirely  devoid  of  any  religious  dissensions.  Sec- 
tarian intolerance  is  not  merely  not  avowed,  but  it 
hardly  seems  to  influence  men's  feelings.'  It  might 
therefore  not  be  safe  to  estimate  the  strength  of 
the  opposition  to  Buller's  recommendations  by  the 
feeling  which  was  aroused  in  later  years,  when  the 
Manitoba  schools  question  was  faced  by  Sir  Wilfrid 
Laurier.  But,  just  as  Canada  had  been  divided 
into  two  provinces  in  1791,  largely  in  the  hope  of 
preventing  friction  between  the  two  rival  races,  so 
it  is  probable  that  the  kindly  feeling  between  the 
different  denominations  was  in  great  measure  due 
to  their  holding  apart  from  each  other  in  educa- 
tional matters  ;  and  it  is  impossible  to  doubt  that 
any  British  Government,  which  had  resolved  to 
carry  out  what  Buller  proposed,  would  have  been 
practically  committed  to  replacing  tolerance  with 
religious  bitterness,  to  alienating  a  loyal  church, 
and  to  coercing  the  whole  French  Canadian  people. 
Lord  Durham,  it  has  been  seen,  had  not  Buller's 
full  Report  before  him  when  he  wrote  his  own,  and 
contented  himself  with  contemplating  that  the 
laity  would  be  too  strong  for  the  clergy,  and  that 
the  grant  of  a  popular  Government  would  bring  in 
its  train  a  liberal  system  of  public  education.  He 
cannot  therefore  be  held  responsible  for  Buller's 
views;  and  yet  it  can  hardly  be  doubted  that  those 
views  largely  reflected  his  own,  especially  as  the 
Anglifying  of  French  Canada  was  one  of  the  main 
themes  of  his  Report.  We  come  back  then  once 
more  to  the  point  of  view  that  Lord  Durham  was 
prepared  to  take  a  high  hand  in  carrying  through 


the  reforms  that  he  deemed  to  be  necessary,  to 
the  conclusion  that  possibly  he  did  not  always 
sufficiently  count  the  cost,  and  that,  had  he  been 
placed  in  the  position  not  to  recommend  merely 
but  to  carry  out  his  recommendations  with  a  free 
hand,  it  is  possible  that  French  Canada  might  not 
have  been  redeemed  by  responsible  government,  but 
by  the  measures  which  were  to  be  co-temporaneous 
with  responsible  government,  might  have  been  con- 
verted into  the  Poland  of  the  British  Empire. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  how  Buller  contrasts 
the  character  of  the  two  sexes  among  the  French 
Canadians,  as  the  result  of  the  better  education 
which  the  girls  received.  '  The  difference  in  the 
character  of  the  two  sexes  is  remarkable.  The 
women  are  really  the  men  of  Lower  Canada.  They 
are  the  active,  bustling,  business  portion  of  the 
habitants,  and  this  results  from  the  much  better 
education  which  they  get,  gratuitously,  or  at 
a  very  cheap  rate,  at  the  nunneries  which  are 
dispersed  over  the  province  '  (iii.  267,  268).  Very 
noteworthy  too  are  his  comments  on  '  the  too 
great  abundance  of  means  of  superior  education 
enjoyed  by  the  French  Canadians'  (iii.  270),  as 
compared  with  the  almost  total  want  of  facilities 
for  higher  education  in  the  case  of  the  British 
population  in  Lower  Canada.  Lord  Durham  also 
refers  to  this  point.  '  I  know  of  no  people  among 
whom  a  larger  provision  exists  for  the  higher  kinds 
of  elementary  education,  or  among  whom  such 
education  is  really  extended  to  a  larger  propor- 
tion of  the  population '  (ii.  32)  ;  and  again  (ii.  134), 
'  I  have  described  the  singular  abundance  of  a 

1352-1  B 


somewhat  defective  education  which  exists  for  the 
higher  classes,  and  which  is  solely  in  the  hands  of 
the  Catholic  priesthood.'  On  the  other  hand, 
'  There  exists  at  present  no  means  of  college  educa- 
tion for  Protestants  in  the  province  ;  and  the 
desire  of  obtaining  general,  and  still  more,  pro- 
fessional instruction,  yearly  draws  a  great  many 
young  men  into  the  United  States.'  Buller  gives 
a  list  of  the  institutions  for  higher  education  which 
had  been  established  by  and  under  the  control  of 
the  Roman  Catholic  Church,  including  '  the  two 
large  seminaries  of  Quebec  and  Montreal ',  founded 
in  the  seventeenth  century,  the  former  by  the  great 
Bishop  Laval,  the  latter  by  the  Sulpiciaris  ; l  and 
he  explains  the  use  of  the  words  '  too  great  abun- 
dance of  means  of  superior  education',  by  pointing 
out,  as  Lord  Durham  also  points  out,  that  the 
children  educated  at  these  colleges  and  seminaries, 
many  or  most  of  them  children  of  habitants,  were 
too  numerous  for  them  all  to  reap  the  advantages 
of  their  education  in  after  life.  The  priesthood 
was  open  to  them,  but  the  military  and  naval 
professions  were  closed.  They  overstocked  the 
professions  of  advocate,  notary,  and  surgeon. 
Sprung  from  the  ranks  of  the  people,  they  led  the 
people.  '  To  this  singular  state  of  things,'  writes 
Lord  Durham,  '  I  attribute  the  extraordinary  in- 
fluence of  the  Canadian  demagogues  '  (ii.  33).  As 
far  back  as  1768,  Carleton  had  impressed  upon  the 

1  The  letters  patent  of  the  French  Crown,  which  authorized  the 
seminary  of  Quebec,  were  dated  April,  1663 ;  this  seminary  was  the 
parent  of  Laval  University,  created  in  1852.  The  letters  patent  of  the 
French  Crown,  which  authorized  the  Sulpician  seminary  at  Montreal, 
were  dated  May  1677. 


British  Government  in  the  strongest  terms  the 
impolicy  of  excluding  Canadians,  more  especially 
the  Canadian  gentry,  from  employment  under 
Government ;  Lord  Durham  notes  the  kindred  but 
somewhat  different  evil,  of  peasant  children  being 
educated  for  higher  work  than  that  of  a  peasant, 
and  finding  in  after  life  that  they  had  been  taught 
and  trained  in  vain. 

Meanwhile,  for  the  Protestant  children  of  Lower 
Canada,  two  grammar  schools  were  in  the  year  1826 
established  at  Quebec  and  Montreal  respectively, 
to  which  the  Government,  under  the  authority  of 
the  Secretary  of  State,  with  no  great  tact  or  con- 
sideration for  Roman  Catholic  feelings,  gave  small 
annual  grants  from  the  proceeds  of  the  Jesuits' 
estates.  There  was  also  one  Protestant  endowment 
at  Montreal,  of  which  the  world  was  to  hear  in  the 
days  to  come.  In  1801  a  provincial  Act  was  passed 
'  for  the  establishment  of  Free  schools  and  the 
advancement  of  Learning  in  the  province '.  Under 
this  Act  a  corporation,  entitled  'The  Royal  In- 
stitution for  the  advancement  of  Learning ',  was 
constituted  for  the  management  of  the  schools. 
This  corporation  was  in  fact,  or  was  regarded  by  the 
Roman  Catholics  and  French  Canadians  as  being, 
exclusively  British  and  Protestant ;  and  in  con- 
sequence the  system  was  a  failure.  When  Buller 
wrote  his  Report,  he  stated  that  'The  corpora- 
tion has  now  no  other  function  than  the  trustee- 
ship of  McGiU's  college'  (iii.  249).  This  college, 
he  tells  us,  was  not  yet  open,  the  building  was  not 
yet  erected,  and  the  endowment  was  not  sufficient 
to  raise  the  college  to  the  rank  of  a  university. 



The  will  of  the  founder,  a  Scotchman,  James  McGill, 
had  been  made  in  1811,  nearly  three  years  before  his 
death.  A  Royal  Charter  had  been  granted  to  the 
college  in  1821 ;  but  it  was  not  until  an  amended 
charter  had  been  obtained  in  1852,  that  the 
college  began  to  develop  into  the  great  McGill 
University,  which  is  now  one  of  the  Universities 
of  the  world.  In  the  meantime,  Buller  suggested 
that  if  the  British  North  American  provinces  should 
be  united,  a  university  jointly  endowed  by  them 
might  be  established  at  Quebec. 

B tiller's  Education  Report  referred  to  Lower 
Canada  only,  and  Lord  Durham  has  little  to  say 
on  the  subject  of  education  in  Upper  Canada.  He 
comments  on  the  paucity  of  schools  in  the  pro- 
vince, and  notes  that  of  the  lands  which  had  been 
originally  appropriated  for  the  support  of  schools 
throughout  the  country,  the  most  valuable  part 
had  been  diverted  to  the  endowment  of  a  univer- 
sity at  Toronto  (ii.  184).  But  there  had  been  no 
indifference  to  the  cause  of  education  in  Upper 
Canada.  Private  effort  had  been  abundant,  and 
the  Government  and  Legislature  had  at  least 
attempted  to  do  their  duty.  The  Lieutenant- 
Governors,  from  Simcoe  onwards,  had  for  the  most 
part  taken  a  warm  personal  interest  in  education, 
especially  in  higher  education.  Sir  Peregrine  Mait- 
land  was  Lieutenant-Govemor,  when  a  Board  of 
Education  was  established ;  and  Sir  John  Colborne, 
who  while  Lieutenant-Governor  of  Guernsey  had 
regenerated  Elizabeth  College  in  that  island,  con- 
ferred a  similar  boon  upon  Upper  Canada,  by  re- 
placing the  Home  district  school  of  Toronto  with 


Upper  Canada  College,  which  was  opened  in  1830. 
The  religious  forbearance,  which  was  so  much  in 
evidence  in  Lower  Canada,  did  not  exist  to  the 
same  degree  in  the  Upper  province.  Lord  Durham 
(ii.  179-82)  criticizes  strongly  the  spirit  of  Orange  in- 
tolerance towards  the  Roman  Catholics,  who  formed 
one-fifth  of  the  population  of  Upper  Canada.  It 
was  the  more  marked,  inasmuch  as  Upper  Canada 
was  the  home  of  the  Roman  Catholic  Glengarry 
Highlanders,  and  of  Bishop  McDonell,  conspicuous 
in  loyalty  to  the  British  Government.  The  feeling 
between  Protestants  and  Roman  Catholics  on  the 
one  hand,  and  011  the  other  between  the  Church  of 
England  and  the  non-Episcopalian  Protestant 
bodies  which  centred  round  the  question  of  the 
clergy  reserves,  was  reflected  in  the  denominational 
colleges  which  were  established  for  higher  educa- 
tion. Elementary  education  was  dealt  with  by 
a  provincial  Act  of  1816,  which  provided  annual 
grants  for  the  establishment  of  common  schools 
throughout  the  province.  The  Act  was  to  be  in 
force  for  four  years  :  it  was  renewed  with  modi- 
fications in  1820,  and  in  1824  it  was  made  per- 
manent. The  Act  of  1824  mentioned  for  the  first 
time  a  General  Board  and  district  boards  of 
education,  and  also  extended  the  provisions  of 
the  Education  Acts  to  schools  for  Indian  children. 
Provision  for  higher  education  had  been  made  at 
an  earlier  date.  In  1797,  when  Peter  Russell  was 
administering  the  government,  the  Legislature  of 
Upper  Canada  petitioned  the  Crown  to  appropriate 
a  certain  amount  of  Crown  lands,  for  the  establish- 
ment and  support  of  grammar  schools  in  the 


different  districts,  and  of  a  college  or  university. 
The  result  was  that  some  550,000  acres  were 
allotted  for  the  purpose.  In  1807  an  Act  was 
passed  to  establish  public  schools  in  the  districts 
of  the  province,  £800  being  provided  to  pay  £100 
per  annum  to  the  master  of  each  school  in  eight 
districts.  These  public  schools  were  the  district 
grammar  schools  of  the  province.  Simcoe  had 
contemplated  a  university  for  Upper  Canada  con- 
nected with  the  Church  of  England  ;  the  petition 
of  the  Legislature  to  the  King  in  1797  had  asked 
for  lands  to  endow  a  college  or  university  as  well 
as  grammar  schools,  and  the  strong  feeling  in  the 
province  in  favour  of  a  university  was  shown  by 
the  fact  that  a  provincial  Act  of  1820,  for  increas- 
ing the  number  of  members  of  the  House  of 
Assembly,  provided  for  future  university  represen- 
tation. Eventually,  in  1827,  King's  College  at 
Toronto  obtained  a  Royal  charter,  and  was  en- 
dowed with  some  225,000  acres  of  the  Crown  land 
which  had  been  appropriated  for  the  purposes  of 
higher  education.  Dr.  Strachan,  who  had  himself 
been  a  schoolmaster,  the  strong  and  able  leader  of 
the  Church  of  England  in  Upper  Canada,  had  much 
to  do  with  obtaining  the  charter;  and,  although 
no  religious  tests  were  imposed  upon  the  students, 
the  college  was  placed  entirely  under  the  control 
of  the  Church  of  England,  the  president  being  the 
Archdeacon  of  Toronto,  who  at  the  time  was 
Dr.  Strachan  himself.  This  exclusive  control 
gave  rise  to  complaints  from  the  other  Protestant 
bodies,  and  the  House  of  Commons  Committee  of 
1828  upon  the  Civil  Government  of  Canada  recom- 


mended  that  the  Constitution  should  be  widened. 
This  was  effected  by  a  provincial  Act  of  1837,  and 
eventually  in  1843  the  college,  no  longer  a  purely 
Anglican  institution,  began  its  work.  In  1849 
it  was  made  entirely  secular,  and  its  name  was 
changed  to  that  of  the  University  of  Toronto.  Its 
place  as  a  Church  of  England  college  was  taken 
by  Trinity  College  at  Toronto,  which  was  estab- 
lished in  1852,  and  received  a  Royal  charter  in 
1853;  and  meanwhile  other  denominations  had 
also  formed  colleges  of  their  own,  the  Wesleyans 
at  Coburg,  the  Presbyterians  at  Kingston,  and  the 
Roman  Catholics  also  at  Kingston,  the  colleges 
being  known  as  Victoria  College,  Queen's  College, 
and  Regiopolis  respectively. 

Lord  Durham  was  not  specially  concerned  with 
education,  and  he  was  specially  concerned  with 
the  political  condition  of  Upper  Canada  and  its 
constitutional  disorders.  But,  had  he  given  closer 
attention  to  the  province  and  spent  a  longer  time 
in  it,  he  might  have  found  space  in  his  Report  to 
note  the  efforts  which  citizens  and  rulers  alike 
had  made  in  the  cause  of  education,  and  might 
have  placed  on  record  that  no  little  credit  in  this 
connexion  was  due  to  Tory  Lieutenant-Governors 
who  had  old-fashioned  views  as  to  Church  and 
State,  and  to  the  members  of  the  Family  Compact. 

Reference  has  already  been  made  to  Lord  Dur- 
ham's views  as  to  a  future  general  union  of  the 
British  North  American  provinces.     c  On  my  first 
arrival  in  Canada,'   he  writes   (ii.   304),    '  I  was 


strongly  inclined  to  the  project  of  &  federal  union, 
and  it  was  with  such  a  plan  in  view,  that  I  dis- 
cussed a  general  measure  for  the  government  of 
the  Colonies,  with  the  deputations  from  the  Lower 
Provinces,  and  with  various  leading  individuals  and 
public  bodies  in  both  the  Canadas.'  Buller  tells 
us,  in  his  sketch  of  the  Mission,  that  Lord  Durham 
had  prepared  the  outline  of  such  a  scheme  before 
he  left  England,  that  Roebuck  had  suggested  it  in 
the  House  of  Commons,  and  that  it  had  been  well 
received.  He  tells  us  too  that  Durham  had  con- 
templated forming  three  provinces  out  of  the  two 
Canadas,  constituting  a  new  province  out  of  the 
district  of  Montreal,  the  adjacent  part  of  Upper 
Canada,  and  the  eastern  townships.  Recognizing 
the  objections  to  any  plan  of  federal  government, 
Durham  had  none  the  less  contemplated  that  a 
federation  formed  under  a  monarchial  government 
would  gradually  grow  into  a  complete  legislative 
union.  But,  on  further  consideration,  and  with 
longer  experience  of  the  conditions  of  British  North 
America,  he  came  to  a  different  conclusion.  He 
reasoned  that  the  time  was  past  for  gradual 
measures  in  the  case  of  Lower  Canada;  that  the 
co-operation  which  would  alone  make  a  federal 
constitution  practicable,  would  be  wanting  in  the 
case  of  the  French  Canadians,  if  they  were  left,  as 
they  would  be  under  a  federal  system,  in  a  majority 
in  their  provincial  Legislature;  'that  tranquillity 
can  only  be  restored  by  subjecting  the  province  to 
the  vigorous  rule  of  an  English  majority  ;  and  that 
the  only  efficacious  government  would  be  that 
formed  by  a  legislative  union  '  (ii.  307). 


On  the  other  hand,  while  complete  and  im- 
mediate fusion  of  the  two  Canadas  under  one 
Legislature  was,  in  his  opinion,  a  vital  necessity, 
and  while  therefore  a  federal  system,  at  any  rate  as 
between  the  two  Canadas,  was  rendered  impossible, 
he  did  not  consider  that  the  conditions  of  the 
Maritime  Provinces  were  such  as  to  make  it  either 
just  or  expedient  to  force  upon  these  latter  pro- 
vinces legislative  union,  until  their  Legislatures  and 
peoples  had  been  given  ample  time  for  deliberation 
and  consent  (ii.  322-3).  This  train  of  reasoning 
led  him  to  recommend  immediate  legislation  by  the 
Imperial  Parliament,  'restoring  the  union  of  the 
Canadas  under  one  legislature,  and  reconstitut- 
ing them  as  one  province'  (ii.  323-5);  but  'the 
Bill ',  he  continued,  '  should  contain  provisions  by 
which  any  or  all  of  the  North  American  colonies 
may,  on  the  application  of  the  Legislature,  be,  with 
the  consent  of  the  two  Canadas,  or  their  united 
Legislature,  admitted  into  the  union  on  such 
terms  as  may  be  agreed  on  between  them  '  ;  and 
he  goes  on  to  recommend  in  terms  which  are 
not  quite  clear,  that  '  a  general  executive  on  an 
improved  principle  should  be  established,  together 
with  a  Supreme  Court  of  Appeal,  for  all  the  North 
American  colonies  ',  as  though  the  executive  and 
the  judicial  powers  respectively  were  to  be  united 
in  advance  of  legislative  union.  Possibly,  by  a 
general  executive  prior  to  legislative  union,  he 
intended  no  more  than  that  a  governor-in-chief  or 
governor-general  should  be  appointed,  who  should 
be  in  fact  and  not  merely,  as  had  been  the  case, 
in  name,  Governor  of  the  whole  of  British  North 


America,    having   one    or    more    secretaries    who 
would  correspond  with  all  the  provinces. 

The  conclusion  of  the  whole  matter  then  was 
that  the  condition  of  French  Canada  at  the  time 
determined  Lord  Durham's  views  with  regard  to 
British  North  America  generally.  But  for  the 
critical  state  of  Lower  Canada,  he  would  have 
recommended  a  federation  of  the  British  North 
American  provinces.  He  would  have  recommended 
it,  however,  not  as  a  final  and  permanent  solu- 
tion, but  as  a  preliminary  to  complete  union.  As 
things  were,  he  concluded  that  the  two  Canadas 
must  at  once  be  fused,  not  federated  ;  and  thus, 
having  begun  with  union,  he  proposed  that  the 
union  should  gradually  be  extended,  without  the 
preliminary  stage  of  federation.  But,  though  he 
thus  advocated  union  and  not  federation,  he  must 
be  regarded  as  having  in  the  essence  foreshadowed 
the  future  dominion.  The  soundness  of  his  reason- 
ing that  the  Maritime  Provinces  should  not  be 
hurried  into  combination  with  the  Canadas,  was 
illustrated  by  the  difficulty  which  was  experienced 
in  carrying  confederation  in  those  provinces ;  and 
his  proposal  to  include  Newfoundland  in  the 
political  system  of  British  North  America  was 
revived,  when  the  makers  of  confederation  were 
drafting  their  first  schemes.  No  part  of  his  Report 
is  more  vivid  or  more  cogent  than  the  passages  in 
which  he  sets  out  the  gains  which  would  accrue 
to  British  North  America  from  being  made  one, 
his  words  speak  for  themselves,  they  would  be 
spoiled  by  paraphrase,  and  one  or  two  points  only 
seem  to  call  for  comment  and  elucidation. 


He  starts  by  distinguishing  between  the  two 
kinds  of  union  which  had  been  proposed,  and  which 
he  terms  federal  and  legislative  (ii.  302-8)  ;  he 
defines  federal  union  as  a  system  under  which  '  the 
separate  legislature  of  each  province  would  be  pre- 
served in  its  present  form,  and  retain  almost  all 
its  present  attributes  of  internal  legislation ;  the 
federal  legislature  exercising  no  power,  save  in 
those  matters  of  general  concern,  which  may  have 
been  expressly  ceded  to  it  by  the  constituent 
Provinces ' ;  and  a  few  lines  lower  down  he  mentions 
as  an  objection  which  might  be  urged  against  a 
federal  system,  'that  a  colonial  federation  must 
have,  in  fact,  little  legitimate  authority  or  busi- 
ness, the  greater  part  of  the  ordinary  functions  of 
a  federation  falling  within  the  scope  of  the  Imperial 
legislature  and  executive '.  Similarly,  Lord  Glenelg, 
when,  as  has  already  been  noticed,1  he  suggested 
to  Lord  Durham,  in  January  1838,  that  some  kind 
of  federal  legislative  body  might  be  established 
for  the  two  Canadian  provinces,  spoke  of  it  merely 
as  '  some  joint  legislative  authority,  which  should 
preside  over  all  questions  of  common  interest  to 
the  two  provinces,  and  which  might  be  appealed 
to  in  extraordinary  cases  to  arbitrate  between 
contending  parties  in  either  ;  preserving,  however, 
to  each  province  its  distinct  legislature,  with 
authority  in  all  matters  of  exclusively  domestic 
concern '.  Lord  Durham  then  clearly  contem- 
plated that  a  Federal  Legislature  in  British  North 
America  would  have  little  or  no  real  power, 
inasmuch  as  British  North  America  would  not  be 

1  Dispatch  of  January  20,  1838.     See  above,  pp.  113,  132. 


an  independent  State  or  nation.  The  real  power 
would  rest,  partly  with  the  Provincial  Legislatures, 
and  partly  with  the  Imperial  Government.  Though 
it  is  the  barest  justice  to  his  memory  to  regard  him 
as  the  prophet  of  the  coming  Dominion,  he  did  not 
contemplate  what  actually  came  to  pass  under  the 
British  North  America  Act,  viz.  that  a  Federal 
Legislature  could  and  would  be  constituted  of  such 
a  kind  that,  while  its  powers  were  necessarily  only 
those  which  had  been  *  expressly  ceded  to  it  by 
the  constituent  provinces ',  yet  the  constituent 
provinces  would  cede  to  it  all  the  powers  which 
were  not  expressly  reserved  to  themselves.  Unlike 
the  constitution  of  the  United  States,  and  unlike 
the  constitution  of  the  Commonwealth  of  Aus- 
tralia, the  constitution  of  the  Dominion  of  Canada 
makes  the  Federal  Government  and  not  the  provin- 
cial governments  the  residuary  legatee  of  political 
power  in  Canada.  Neither  in  its  relation  to  the 
constituent  provinces,  nor  in  its  relation  to  the  Im- 
perial Legislature  and  Executive,  is  the  Dominion 
Legislature  a  shadow  without  the  substance :  on 
the  contrary  it  is  in  this  Federal  Legislature  that 
the  real  power  over  Canada  resides.  To  appreciate 
Lord  Durham's  point  of  view,  it  is  necessary,  on 
the  one  hand  to  bear  in  mind  that  what  he  had  to 
guide  him  in  forming  his  opinions  on  the  subject 
of  federation  was  the  one  great  existing  example 
of  federation  in  the  United  States,  and  on  the 
other  hand  to  remember  the  lines  which  he  laid 
down  for  responsible  government.  In  the  case  of 
the  United  States  he  saw  how  strong  had  been 
and  still  was  the  basis  of  State  rights,  and  to  his 


mind  a  Federal  Legislature  with  substantial  power 
had  only  been  rendered  possible,  because  there  was 
no  further  sovereign  power  outside  and  beyond. 
On  the  other  hand,  he  had  drawn  a  distinct  line 
beyond  which  responsible  government  should  not 
be  extended,  the  line  being  between  what  he  held 
to  be  matters  of  domestic  and  what  he  considered 
matters  of  imperial  concern.  The  matters  of 
domestic  concern  were  matters  for  the  domestic 
Legislature,  and  that  meant,  as  long  as  the  pro- 
vinces were  not  made  one,  the  Legislature  of  each 
single  province.  The  matters  of  imperial  concern 
were  to  be  regulated  outside  Canada  altogether, 
by  the  Imperial  Legislature  and  Executive.  Where, 
he  argued,  was  there  a  place  for  an  intermediate 
Legislature,  except  as  a  transitory  form  preliminary 
to  substantial  union.  But  what  actually  happened 
was  the  creation  of  a  Legislature  which  took  over 
a  large  proportion  of  the  matters  of  domestic  con- 
cern, and  which  either  from  the  first  possessed,  or, 
as  years  went  on,  gradually  gathered,  many  or 
most  of  the  powers  which  Lord  Durham  conceived 
to  be  outside  the  sphere  of  purely  Canadian  politics. 
He  was  wrong  and  yet  he  was  right :  he  was  right 
and  yet  he  was  wrong.  He  wanted  to  create 
a  nation,  and  that  was  achieved  by  the  British 
North  America  Act.  The  Act  really  brought  union 
into  existence  under  the  guise  of  federation.  But 
when  a  nation  was  made,  it  was  not  possible  to 
set  bounds  to  national  aspirations,  or  to  uphold 
the  limits  within  which  he  proposed  to  grant 
responsible  government. 

There  is  one  aspect  of  a  Federal  Legislature,  not 


of  great  importance  now,  but  important  enough 
in  earlier  days,  which  he  rather  left  out  of  sight. 
In  discussing  the  future  union  of  British  North 
America,  he  quotes  a  letter  which  Chief  Justice 
Sewell  had  received  from  the  father  of   Queen 
Victoria,  the  Duke  of  Kent,  on  proposals  for  a 
union  of  the  British  North  American  provinces, 
which  Sewell  had  submitted  to  the  Duke.    When 
the  Bill,  which  eventually  became  the  Constitu- 
tional Act  of  1791,  was  under  consideration,  a  pre- 
decessor of  Sewell,  Chief  Justice  Smith,  wrote  to 
Lord  Dorchester  a  memorable  letter  in  which  he 
commented  on  the  absence  in  that  Bill  of  any  pro- 
vision for  a  General  Legislature  for  all  the  British 
North  American  provinces.    To  the  want  of  such 
a  Legislature  the  writer  attributed  in  large  measure 
the  loss  of  the  old  American  colonies.     It  was  in 
his  view  hopeless  to  have  expected  '  wisdom  and 
moderation  from  near  a  score  of  "  petty  Parlia- 
ments ",  with  which  Great  Britain  had  had  to  deal.' 
'All  America  was  thus,  at  the  very  outset  of  the 
Plantations,   abandoned  to  Democracy.     And  it 
belonged  to  the  Administrations  of  the  days  of  our 
fathers  to  have  found  the  cure,  in  the  erection  of 
a  Power  upon  the  Continent  itself,  to  control  all  its 
own  little  Republics,  and  create  a  Partner  in  the 
Legislation  of  the  Empire,  capable  of  consulting 
their    own    safety    and    the    common    welfare  '-1 
Chief  Justice  Smith  confined  himself  to  the  sub- 
ject of  legislation,  and  apparently  did  not  contem- 
plate responsible  government ;  and  Lord  Durham, 

1  Chief  Justice  Smith  to  Lord  Dorchester,  February  5,  1790.     Sec 
Canadian  Constitutional  Development,  Egerton  and  Grant,  pp.  104-6. 


while  going  beyond  him  in  the  matter  of  granting 
responsible  government,  equally  with  him  saw 
the  advantage  of  creating  a  united  Legislature, 
which  would  give  a  wider  field  for  political  am- 
bitions than  the  '  petty  parliaments  '  afforded,  and 
create  more  equality  and  more  sense  of  partner- 
ship with  the  Parliament  of  the  United  Kingdom. 
But  Durham  did  not  appreciate,  as  Chief  Justice 
Smith  did,  or  at  any  rate  he  did  not  enlarge 
upon  the  advantage,  under  the  existing  conditions 
of  the  British  Empire,  of  a  Federal  Legislature, 
as  contrasted  with  a  Legislature  which  absorbed, 
instead  of  retaining  in  some  sort,  the  Provincial 
Legislatures,  in  that  it  would  have  been  '  a  power 
upon  the  continent  itself  '  controlling  all  its  own 
little  republics.  In  other  words,  he  does  not  seem 
to  have  appreciated  the  advantage  of  a  buffer 
between  the  little  republics  and  the  Imperial 
authority,  against  which,  in  lieu  of  the  Imperial 
authority,  the  petty  irritation  of  the  provincial 
communities,  the  inevitable  friction  between  the 
lower  and  the  higher,  would  mainly  have  been 

In  the  earlier  stages  of  the  Empire,  when  dis- 
tance was  all  powerful  and  knowledge  and  wisdom 
lingered,  a  Central  Legislature  on  the  spot,  con- 
trolling but  not  wholly  absorbing,  and  therefore 
not  inheriting  but  restraining  the  small  causes  of 
bitterness  in  subordinate  Legislatures,  would  have 
been,  as  in  later  times  it  has  proved  to  be,  a  won- 
derful improvement  in  the  machinery  of  a  world- 
wide system. 

There  is  one  thing  wanting  in  Lord  Durham's 


forecast  of  a  united  Dominion.  It  has  been  referred 
to  already  more  than  once.  He  foreshadows  a 
Dominion,  but  it  is  not  a  Dominion  from  sea  to  sea. 
If  he  had  not  seen  so  far  and  so  wide,  there  would 
be  no  room  for  wondering  that  he  did  not  see  still 
further  and  wider.  But  he  had  so  much  states- 
manlike imagination,  that  it  is  matter  for  surprise 
that  Upper  Canada  always  bounded  his  western 
view.  The  territories  of  the  Hudson  Bay  Company, 
the  North  West,  the  Pacific  Coast  were  not  within 
the  scope  of  his  mission,  but  yet  they  need  not 
have  lain  beyond  his  horizon.  The  international 
line  had  long  been  drawn,  though  with  outstanding 
points  of  dispute,  as  far  as  the  Rocky  Mountains ; 
and  the  boundary  from  thence  to  the  Pacific  had 
been  matter  of  negotiation.  Possibly  the  diffi- 
culties with  the  United  States,  including  the  Maine 
Boundary  question,  to  which  he  refers,  and  which 
at  the  beginning  of  1839  reached  its  most  acute 
and  dangerous  stage,  made  him  hesitate  to  look 
too  far  afield,  into  what  might  be  held  to  be 
debatable  territory ;  but  the  result  is  to  leave  his 
picture  of  the  future  British  North  America  fore- 
shortened and  incomplete.  Yet  it  is  a  splendid 
picture,  a  great  conception  embodied  in  noble 
words.  Once  more  stress  may  well  be  laid  upon 
the  writer's  creativeness,  his  imperialism  which 
held  that  England  should  make  what  was  small 
and  petty  into  what  was  worthy  and  great,  his 
unerring  perception  that  there  was  one  way  and 
one  way  only  to  prevent  British  North  America 
from  being  permanently  overshadowed,  and  ulti- 
mately absorbed,  by  the  United  States,  and  that 


was  by  making  it  one  and  raising  it  to  be  a  nation. 
Such  a  community,  strong  and  self-governing,  he 
held,  and  rightly  held,  would  be  less  likely  than 
the  '  petty  republics  '  to  sever  the  connexion  with 
Great  Britain. 

As  the  whole  course  of  Canadian  history  has 
been  dominated  by  the  proximity  of  the  United 
States  to  Canada,  so  Lord  Durham's  Report 
abounds  in  references  to  the  United  States  and 
its  citizens,  made  for  purposes  of  illustration,  con- 
trast, example,  and  warning.  In  1837  Martin  Van 
Buren  succeeded  General  Jackson  as  President, 
and  inherited  a  legacy  of  unrest.  The  year  1837 
was  in  the  United  States  a  year  of  financial  crisis 
and  of  bank  failures.  The  anti-slavery  movement 
was  rapidly  gathering  strength.  Texas,  settled 
largely  by  American  citizens,  had  in  1836  declared 
its  independence  of  Mexico,  and  in  1837  applied 
for  admission  into  the  Union  ;  thenceforward  the 
Texas  annexation  question  troubled  and  divided 
American  statesmen  and  politicians  until  1845, 
when  Texas  became  a  State  of  the  Union,  and  war 
with  Mexico  followed  as  a  necessary  consequence. 
Relations  between  Great  Britain  and  the  United 
States  were  very  strained.  The  Maine  Boundary 
question  was  outstanding,  accentuated  since  the 
admission  of  the  State  of  Maine  to  the  Union  in 
1820.  The  Fisheries  Convention  of  1818  between 
Great  Britain  and  the  United  States  had  given 
rise  to  disputes  ;  and,  writing  to  Lord  Durham  in 
September  1838  on  the  state  of  Nova  Scotia, 

1352-1  S 


Mr.  William  Young  referred  to  *  the  oppressive  and 
systematic  encroachments  of  the  Americans  upon 
our  fisheries  '.*  Along  the  international  frontier 
further  west  than  the  Maritime  Provinces,  the 
rebellions  in  Lower  and  Upper  Canada  had  led  to 
breaches  of  the  peace  and  violations  of  territory. 
Reference  has  been  made  to  the  case  of  the  Caro- 
line and  the  bitterness  which  it  caused  in  the 
United  States,  while  a  few  hours  after  Lord 
Durham's  landing  at  Quebec,  the  Sir  Robert  Peel, 
a  Canadian  steamboat  on  the  Upper  St.  Lawrence, 
putting  into  the  American  shore,  was  taken,  looted, 
and  burnt  by  a  band  of  American  pirates,  to  use 
Lord  Durham's  words.  Writing  to  Lord  Glenelg 
a  few  days  afterwards,  he  reported  that  the  popula- 
tion on  the  frontier  of  the  State  of  New  York  was 
'  of  the  worst  class  and  description — squatters, 
refugees,  and  smugglers,  and  that  the  executive 
power  of  the  United  States  Government  is  a  perfect 
nullity  '.2  He  had  thus  given  him,  immediately 
after  arrival  in  Canada,  a  practical  illustration 
of  the  *  necessary  weakness  of  a  merely  Federal 
Government '  (ii.  270).  One  of  his  first  acts,  in 
consequence  of  the  Sir  Robert  Peel  incident,  was  to 
send  his  brother-in-law,  Colonel  Grey,  to  Wash- 
ington, to  carry  remonstrances,  coupled  with  assur- 
ances of  friendship  and  co-operation,  to  President 
Van  Buren,  with  the  result  that  the  President, 
honestly  anxious  to  keep  the  peace,  took  steps  to 
prevent  as  far  as  possible  a  recurrence  of  similar 

1  See  Appendix  A,  iii.  14. 

*  House  of  Commons  Paper,  February  11,   1839.     British  North 
America,  p.  114. 


outrages,  though  the  later  recrudescence  of  Canadian 
rebellion  led  to  further  fillibustering  on  the  fron- 
tier. Lord  Durham  fully  realized  how  little  was 
wanting  to  bring  on  war  between  England  and  the 
United  States,  and  to  what  extent  the  condition 
of  the  two  Canadas  made  for  war  between  the  two 
countries.  In  his  dispatch  of  the  9th  of  August 
1838,  which  was  marked  secret  at  the  time,  but 
was  subsequently  published,  almost  in  extenso,  in 
the  Blue  Book  of  the  llth  of  February  1839,  he 
summed  up  the  causes  which  were  exciting  American 
animosity  against  Great  Britain.  He  noted  how, 
among  the  ill-informed  in  the  United  States,  the 
French  Canadians  appeared  to  be  struggling  for 
the  same  rights  which  the  Americans  had  secured 
by  the  War  of  Independence  ;  how  the  bitterness 
of  the  British  party  in  Canada  against  the  United 
States,  reflected  in  the  colonial  newspapers,  had 
caused  corresponding  irritation;  and  how  the 
American  mind  was  becoming  familiarized  to  the 
prospect  of  war.  He  commented  upon  the  prac- 
tical inconvenience  and  expense  caused,  alike  to 
the  States  on  the  frontier  and  to  the  Federal 
Government,  by  the  disturbances  in  Canada  and 
the  weakness  of  British  administration ;  upon  the 
added  political  difficulty  of  the  boundary  ques- 
tion; and  lastly  upon  the  restless,  enterprising, 
lawless  character  of  the  frontier  population,  whb 
had  a  precedent  for  successful  invasion  and  seizure 
in  the  events  which  had  taken  place  in  Texas. 
These  considerations  are  set  out  again  at  length  in 
his  Report,  and  he  traces  with  clearness  and  in- 
sight how  among  the  British  loyalists  in  Lower 



Canada,  exasperation  against  American  sympathy 
with  the  French  Canadians  was  combined  with  an 
undercurrent  of  feeling  that  incorporation  with  the 
United  States  would  once  for  all  swamp  the  French 
majority,  and  further  the  material  interests  of  the 
English-speaking  population;  and  how  in  the  Upper 
Province  traditional  loyalty  to  the  British  Govern- 
ment, if  not  supported  by  stable  administration 
and  constitutional  reform,  might  be  undermined 
by  race  sympathy,  facility  of  intercourse,  and  the 
object  lesson  of  abounding  prosperity  which  dis- 
contented eyes  in  Canada  beheld  across  the 

It  was  not  the  least  of  Lord  Durham's  services 
to  his  country  that,  when  he  reviewed  the  state  of 
Canada,  took  action  on  the  spot,  and  made  recom- 
mendations for  the  future,  he  had  always  in  mind 
British  and  Canadian  relations  with  the  great 
republic  that  lined  the  southern  frontier  of  Canada  ; 
and  Buller,  in  his  account  of  the  Mission,  empha- 
sizes the  change  of  feeling  between  England  and 
the  United  States,  which  was  the  result  of  Lord 
Durham's  prompt  measures,  and  his  dignified 
courtesy  to  American  citizens,  producing  alike 
greater  friendliness  to  the  country  which  he 
represented,  and  marked  personal  respect  for 

Comment  has  been  made  already  upon  the  out- 
spokenness of  Lord  Durham's  Report.  He  writes 
plainly  and  fearlessly  on  the  situation  from  an 
international  point  of  view.  The  side-note  to  one 
of  his  paragraphs  is  '  Importance  of  preserving 

1  See  ii.  59-64  and  261-3. 


the    sympathy    of    the   United   States ',    and   it 
runs  : 

'  The  maintenance  of  an  absolute  form  of  govern- 
ment on  any  part  of  the  North  American  Continent 
can  never  continue  for  any  long  time,  without 
exciting  a  general  feeling  in  the  United  States 
against  a  power  of  which  the  existence  is  secured 
by  means  so  odious  to  the  people  ;  and  as  I  rate 
the  preservation  of  the  present  general  sympathy 
of  the  United  States  with  the  policy  of  our  Govern- 
ment in  Lower  Canada  as  a  matter  of  the  greatest 
importance,  I  should  be  sorry  that  the  feeling 
should  be  changed  for  one  which,  if  prevalent 
among  that  people,  must  extend  over  the  sur- 
rounding provinces  '  (ii.  297). 

He  argued  in  effect,  that  one  reason  for  giving 
responsible  government  to  the  Canadas  was  that 
it  would  be  congenial  to  the  United  States — a  very 
good  reason,  but  not  one  which  at  a  time  of  crisis 
was  likely  to  be  attractive  to  loyalists  in  Canada. 
Again  he  writes  (ii.  311-12)  in  the  plainest  words  of 
the  ever  present,  ever  increasing,  all  surrounding 
influence  of  the  United  States  in  relation  to  Canada 
and  the  Canadians,  and  uses  it  as  a  powerful  argu- 
ment for  the  union  of  British  North  America, 
reasoning  that  '  If  we  wish  to  prevent  the  exten- 
sion of  this  influence,  it  can  only  be  done  by 
raising  up  for  the  North  American  colonist  some 
nationality  of  his  own;  by  elevating  these  small 
and  unimportant  communities  into  a  society  hav- 
ing some  objects  of  a  national  importance  ;  and 
by  thus  giving  their  inhabitants  a  country  which 
they  will  be  unwilling  to  see  absorbed  even  into 
one  more  powerful '. 


Throughout  his  Report  he  draws  a  contrast 
between  the  American  and  Canadian  sides  of  the 
frontier,  in  the  matter  of  material  development  and 
prosperity,  attributing  the  backwardness  on  the 
Canadian  side  mainly  to  the  want  of  free  institu- 
tions and  firm  and  wise  administration.  '  It  is  not 
politic  to  waste  and  cramp  their  resources,  and 
to  allow  the  backwardness  of  the  British  provinces 
everywhere  to  present  a  melancholy  contrast  to 
the  progress  and  prosperity  of  the  United  States  ' 
(ii.  262).  In  an  earlier  passage  (ii.  212-13),  with 
special  reference  to  the  disposal  of  public  lands,  he 
elaborates  the  contrast  in  forcible  and  picturesque 
language.  '  On  the  American  side  all  is  activity 
and  bustle.  .  .  .  On  the  British  side  of  the  line,  with 
the  exception  of  a  few  favoured  spots,  where  some 
approach  to  American  prosperity  is  apparent,  all 
seems  waste  and  desolate.  .  .  .  There,  on  the  side 
of  both  the  Canadas,  and  also  of  New  Brunswick 
and  Nova  Scotia,  a  widely  scattered  population, 
poor,  and  apparently  unenterprising,  though  hardy 
and  industrious,  separated  from  each  other  by 
tracts  of  intervening  forest,  without  towns  and 
markets,  almost  without  roads,  living  in  mean 
houses,  drawing  little  more  than  a  rude  subsist- 
ence from  ill-cultivated  land,  and  seemingly  in- 
capable of  improving  their  condition,  present  the 
most  instructive  contrast  to  their  enterprising  and 
thriving  neighbours  on  the  American  side.'  This 
last  passage  elicited  an  angry  protest  from  the 
Select  Committee  of  the  House  of  Assembly  in 
Upper  Canada,  who  quoted  it  in  their  Report,  and 
called  on  the  Canadian  farmers  living  by  the 


St.  Lawrence  and  on  the  Niagara  frontier  to  '  read 
this  degrading  account  of  them,  and  ask  themselves 
whether  they  would  feel  perfectly  safe  in  submit- 
ting their  future  political  fate,  and  that  of  their 
children,  to  the  dogmas  of  a  man  who  has  so  grossly 
misstated  their  character  and  condition  '.* 

Lord  Durham  may  have  used  exaggerated  terms, 
but  for  many  years  after  his  time  the  contrast 
between  the  Canadian  and  American  sides  of  the 
frontier  was  a  favourite  theme,  and  it  has  been 
reserved  to  the  twentieth  century  to  exhibit 
Canada — perhaps  rather  the  North- West  than  the 
Canada  of  Lord  Durham's  vision — as  more  than 
rivalling  the  United  States  in  attractiveness  for 
settlers.  Moreover,  in  view  of  the  emphasis  which 
Lord  Durham  laid  upon  misgovernment  in  Canada, 
it  is  interesting  to  note  that  no  little  element  in 
this  attractiveness  has  been  the  better  administra- 
tion of  law  in  the  Canadian  Dominion  than  in  the 
United  States.  On  the  other  hand,  it  is  a  question 
whether  Lord  Durham  did  not  overestimate  the 
effect  of  defective  institutions  and  inadequate 
administration,  as  accounting  for  the  comparative 
backwardness  of  Canada.  He  did  not  take  into 
account  the  fact  that  British  settlement  in  Canada 
was  in  its  infancy,  whereas  the  vast  development 
which  he  noted  in  the  United  States  was  the  out- 
come of  forces  which  generations  had  helped  to  bring 
to  maturity.  Unless  gold  or  diamonds  are  brought 
to  light,  British  colonization  is  wont  to  be  a  slow 
growth,  but  there  comes  a  time,  which  has  already 

1  See  Parliamentary  Paper,  No.  289,  June,  1839.    Copies  or  Extracts 
of  Correspondence  Relative  to  the  Affairs  of  Canada,  p.  30. 


come  in  Canada,  and  which  seems  to  be  nearly  due 
in  Australia,  when  harvest  succeeds  to  seed  time, 
when  the  young  country  comes  of  age,  and  when 
men  enter  in  not  by  tens  but  by  thousands,  to 
open  the  lands  and  build  up  a  nation. 

In  points  of  detail  Lord  Durham  holds  up  the 
United  States  as  a  model  to  Canada.  In  the 
matter  of  public  lands,  for  instance,  he  contrasts 
the  efficiency  of  the  system  in  the  United  States 
with  the  absence  of  any  system  in  the  British 
North  American  colonies  (ii.  211).  The  words  have 
already  been  quoted,  in  which  he  refers  to  the  Erie 
Canal,  and  points  out  that  '  the  state  of  New  York 
made  its  own  St.  Lawrence  from  Lake  Erie  to  the 
Hudson,  while  the  Government  of  Lower  Canada 
could  not  achieve,  or  even  attempt,  the  few  miles  of 
canal  and  dredging,  which  would  have  rendered  its 
mighty  rivers  navigable  almost  to  their  sources' 
(ii.  99-100).  He  notes  the  '  noble  provision '  made 
by  the  northern  States  of  the  Union  for  education, 
as  against  the  absence  of  any  general  system  of  in- 
struction in  Lower  Canada  (ii.  133);  he  speaks  of  the 
efficiency  of  the  municipal  institutions  in  these  same 
northern  States,  whereas  such  institutions  were 
wholly  wanting  in  French  Canada  (ii.  91-92  and 
112) ;  and  in  a  very  interesting  passage  he  writes  at 
some  length  on  Louisiana,  giving  that  State  as  an 
instance,  which  he  considered  might  well  be  copied 
in  the  case  of  Lower  Canada,  of  a  French  popula- 
tion being  successfully  absorbed  in  a  wider  nation- 
ality (ii.  299-302)  ;  in  the  same  connexion  he  refers 
to  the  fusion  of  the  Dutch  element  in  the  State 
of  New  York. 


He  emphasized  the  bright  side  of  American  in- 
stitutions and  American  initiative,  and  rather  left 
in  the  background  the  counterbalancing  defects. 
Even  in  the  matter  of  public  works,  Canada  had 
not  all  to  learn  from  the  United  States.  A  note 
to  the  Report  of  the  Assistant  Commissioners  of 
Municipal  Inquiry  runs,  '  Persons  who  are  dis- 
posed to  regard  the  local  administration  of  the 
United  States  as  a  model  for  other  countries,  will 
probably  be  unwilling  to  believe  that  in  the  State 
of  New  York,  whose  prosperity  has  been  immensely 
increased  by  its  canal  and  railroad  communications, 
the  management  of  the  roads  is  extremely  defec- 
tive, although  there  is  a  large  population,  possess- 
ing abundant  resources.'  J  Mr.  Young,  of  Nova 
Scotia,  saw  nothing  to  gain  from  American  citizen- 
ship :  '  I  know  not  of  a  single  individual  of 
influence  or  talent,  who  would  not  regard  a  sever- 
ance of  our  connection  with  the  mother  country, 
and  our  incorporation,  which  would  soon  follow, 
into  the  American  Union,  with  its  outrages  oil 
property  and  real  freedom,  its  growing  democratic 
spirit  and  executive  weakness,  as  the  greatest 
misfortune  that  could  befall  us.' 2  To  Lord  Dur- 
ham the  United  States  were  a  bright  illustration 
of  the  blessings  which  flow  from  responsible  govern- 
ment, coupled  with  wise  treatment  of  public  lands. 
It  is  true  that,  as  has  been  pointed  out  already,  he 
did  not  look  closely  into  the  American  constitution 
or  examine  how  far  the  Americans  enjoyed  what  he 
meant  by  responsible  government.  It  was  enough 
for  him  that  they  had  free  institutions,  and  from 

1  Appendix  C,  iii.  194  note.  2  Appendix  A,  iii.  13. 


these  institutions,  in  his  view,  flowed  material 
blessings.  He  over-rated  the  shortcomings  of  men 
and  things  in  Canada,  he  drew  too  rosy  a  picture 
of  men  and  things  in  the  United  States,  but  his 
conclusion  was  sound  and  true.  If  British  North 
America  was  to  be  kept  for  Great  Britain,  instead 
of  succumbing  to  the  powerful  attraction  of  the 
great  and  growing  republic  which  was  and  is 
its  everyday  neighbour,  then  the  British  North 
American  provinces  must  be  given  self-government, 
and  be  raised  by  union  from  the  level  of  separate 
petty  communities  to  the  higher  plane  of  a  single 


In  connexion  with,  but  over  and  above,  the 
main  subject  of  responsible  government,  Lord 
Durham's  views  on  the  Colonial  Office  and  colonial 
administration  are  worthy  of  note.  It  has  been 
seen  that,  at  the  time  when  he  wrote,  the  Colonial 
Office  was,  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  mainly 
a  Crown  Colony  Office  ;  that  the  head  of  the  per- 
manent staff  in  the  office  was  an  unusually  strong 
official,  serving  a  Secretary  of  State  who,  from  the 
public  point  of  view,  was  exceptionally  inadequate ; 
and  that  Charles  Buller,  the  sworn  foe  of  the 
Colonial  Office,  was  Lord  Durham's  right  hand 
man.  Further,  whereas,  in  the  Liverpool  adminis- 
tration, Lord  Bathurst  had  been  Secretary  of  State 
for  the  Colonies  for  fifteen  years,  from  1812  to 
1827,  holding  the  office  for  a  longer  period  con- 
tinuously than  any  Secretary  of  State  for  the 


Colonies  before  or  since,  in  the  next  ten  years  the 
appointment  had  changed  hands  no  fewer  than 
eight  times.  These  frequent  changes  were,  in  the 
Report  of  a  Select  Committee  of  the  House  of 
Assembly  of  Upper  Canada,  which  Lord  Durham 
quotes  and  endorses  (ii.  104),  alleged  to  be  '  one  of 
the  chief  causes  of  dissatisfaction  with  the  adminis- 
tration of  Colonial  affairs  '. 

How  strongly  the  Colonial  Office  was  criticized 
and  condemned  by  men  of  the  Buller  school,  can 
best  be  judged  by  reading  the  speeches  of  his 
friend  Sir  William  Molesworth,  who  eventually 
became  for  a  few  months  before  his  death  Secretary 
of  State  for  the  Colonies.  Molesworth's  criticisms 
of  the  office  were  not  confined  to  the  regime  of 
Lord  Glenelg,  whose  colonial  administration  he 
attacked  in  the  House  of  Commons  in  1838,  but 
continued  pretty  well  to  the  end  of  his  own  life  in 
the  fifties.  His  theme  was  mainly  the  maladminis- 
tration of  the  present  self-governing  dominions, 
but  he  also  held  that  the  Crown  Colonies  were  mis- 
governed ;  and,  when  in  1849  he  moved  for  a 
Royal  Commission  to  inquire  into  the  administra- 
tion of  the  colonies,  while  laying  down  that  '  the 
Commission  should  draw  a  broad  distinction  be- 
tween those  colonies  which  have  or  ought  to  have 
representative  institutions,  and  those  of  the  Crown 
Colonies  which  are  unfit  for  free  institutions  ',  he 
expressed  the  view  that  '  In  both  cases  the  more 
the  government  is  local,  the  better  I  believe  it 
will  be.  It  will,  therefore,  be  an  important  subject 
for  inquiry  by  the  Commission,  what  is  the  best 
form  of  local  government  for  those  Crown  Colonies 


which  are  unfit  for  free  institutions  V  In  an  earlier 
speech  he  contrasted  the  Government  of  India, 
still  under  the  East  India  Company,  most  favour- 
ably with  Colonial  Office  mismanagement -of  the 
Crown  Colonies.  On  another  occasion  he  asserted 
that  *  the  tendency  of  every  Executive,  and  especi- 
ally of  a  Colonial  Office  Executive,  is  towards  exces- 
sive expenditure,  and  therefore  towards  excessive 
taxation ' ; *  and  from  first  to  last  he  argued,  and 
so  did  Buller,  that  the  Colonial  Office  system,  as 
it  existed  in  his  time,  was  not  merely  faulty  but 
absolutely  impossible,  for  it  consisted  in  arbitrary 
power  exercised  by  ignorant  and  irresponsible  men 
at  a  distance.  The  Secretaries  of  State  were  con- 
stantly changing,  and  could  therefore  have  no  real 
grip  of  colonial  administration  :  they  were  nomi- 
nally responsible  to  Parliament,  but  practically 
irresponsible,  for  Parliament  neither  knew  nor 
cared  about  colonial  matters  :  the  real  power  was 
in  the  hands  of  under  secretaries  and  clerks,  and 
the  result  of  the  whole  was  ignorance,  negligence, 
and  vacillation  as  '  three  inseparable  accidents  of 
our  system  of  colonial  government ',  and  a  Colonial 
Office  characterized  by  '  rashness,  ignorance,  in- 
discretion, incapacity  V 

As  against  this  wholesale  condemnation,  it  is 
interesting  to  note  the  passages  in  the  Government 
of  Dependencies,  in  which  Cornewall  Lewis,  a  con- 
temporary of  Molesworth  and  Buller,  refers  to  the 
advantage  of  having  a  Colonial  Office.  He  points 
out  that  the  States  of  ancient  times  had  no  public 

1  Selected  Speeches  of  Sir  William  Mdesworth,  edited  by  Professor 
Egerton,  pp.  13-14,  232,  239-40,  325,  353. 


office,  and  no  public  officer,  specially  charged  to 
superintend  and  control  the  governments  of  their 
dependencies,  and  the  conduct  of  the  governors; 
and  considers  that  such  an  office  or  such  an  officer 
would  have  made  for  amelioration  of  the  govern- 
ment of  the  dependent  communities,  and  there- 
fore for  consolidation  of  the  Empire  to  which  they 
belonged.  '  The  industry  and  ability  of  Cicero 
would  have  been  employed  far  more  advantage- 
ously to  the  provincials,  if  he  had  filled  an  office 
of  this  sort,  than  they  were  in  his  prosecution  of 
Verres.'  x  It  is  a  commonplace  of  Roman  history 
that  the  provinces  fared  better  under  the  Empire 
than  under  the  Republic,  and  under  the  Emperor 
than  under  the  Senate,  partly  because  there  were 
not  such  frequent  changes  of  governors,  but  mainly 
because  there  was  a  stronger  and  more  sympathetic 
control  over  them  at  head-quarters.  Lewis  goes 
on  to  mention  the  Spanish  Council  of  the  Indies 
as  the  first  Colonial  Office,  '  the  first  example  of 
a  separate  public  department  in  a  dominant 
country  for  the  management  of  dependencies,' 
and  credits  it  with  at  any  rate  some  measure  of 
efficiency  and  regard  for  the  native  races.  He  then 
sums  up  the  value  of  a  Colonial  Office  in  the  follow- 
ing passage  : 

'  If  it  be  assumed  that  colonial  and  other  depen- 
dencies are  to  remain  in  a  state  of  dependence,  it 
cannot  be  doubted  that  they,  on  the  whole,  derive 
advantage  from  the  existence  of  a  public  depart- 
ment in  the  dominant  country,  specially  charged 

1  Government    of    Dependencies    (1891    ed.),    pp.    162-4;    see  also 
pp.  119  note  and  149. 


with  the  superintendence  of  their  political  con- 
cerns. The  existence  of  such  a  department  tends 
to  dimmish  the  main  obstacles  to  the  good  govern- 
ment of  a  dependency,  viz.  the  ignorance  and  the 
indifference  of  the  dominant  country  respecting 
its  affairs  ;  and  to  supply  the  qualities  requisite 
for  its  good  government,  viz.  knowledge  of  its 
affairs  and  care  for  them.  If  the  existence  of  such 
a  department  tends  to  involve  the  affairs  of  the 
dependency  in  the  party  contests  of  the  dominant 
country,  it  is  to  be  remembered  that  this  very  evil 
has  its  good  side  ;  inasmuch  as  the  public  atten- 
tion is  thereby  attracted  to  the  dependency,  and 
the  interest  of  some  portion  of  the  dominant  people 
is  awakened  to  the  promotion  of  its  welfare.' 

Lewis  wrote  of  a  Colonial  Office  in  the  abstract, 
while  Molesworth  castigated  the  actual  Colonial 
Office  of  the  day.  Moreover,  Lewis  was  consider- 
ing only  the  case  of  dependencies  which  are  to 
remain  dependencies,  in  other  words,  Crown  Colo- 
nies, whereas  Molesworth  dealt  mainly,  though  not 
exclusively,  with  the  case  of  what  are  now  the 
self-governing  dominions.  Still  the  difference  in 
the  two  men's  views  is  striking  and  instructive. 
To  Molesworth,  control  from  Downing  Street  was 
an  abomination,  to  Lewis  it  was,  at  any  rate  in 
capable  hands,  a  beneficial  safeguard.  It  need 
not  be  said  that  Lord  Durham,  prompted  no 
doubt  by  Buller,  approached  more  nearly  to 
Molesworth's  point  of  view  than  to  that  of  Corne- 
wall  Lewis,  but  on  the  one  hand  Durham  was  not 
concerned  in  any  way  with  Crown  Colonies,  and 
on  the  other  his  condemnation  of  the  Colonial 
Office  is  not  so  wholesale  nor  so  bitter  as  that  of 
Molesworth.  He  deals  with  the  subject  more 


especially  in  relation  to  Lower  Canada  (ii.  101-10), 
and  characteristically  attacks  the  existing  system 
on  account  of  the  weakness  which  resulted  from 
it.  The  side-note  to  the  beginning  of  the  passage 
is  '  Want  of  vigorous  administration  of  Royal  Pre- 
rogative ',  and  the  argument  runs  :  The  Governor 
of  the  colony  is  supposed  to  represent  the  Sove- 
reign, but  he  is  in  fact  a  mere  subordinate  of  the 
Secretary  of  State,  receiving  instructions  not  only 
as  to  the  general  line  of  policy  to  be  pursued,  but 
also  as  to  details.  Being  the  tool  of  the  Home 
Government,  he  is  the  centre  of  attacks  from  the 
popular  party  in  the  Colony,  and  naturally  throws 
the  responsibility  as  far  as  possible  upon  the  Home 
Government,  and  does  little  or  nothing  without 
referring  home  for  instructions.  Thus  the  Exe- 
cutive on  the  spot  loses  all  vigour  and  initiative, 
action  is  enfeebled  by  distance  and  delay,  '  and 
the  colony  has,  in  every  crisis  of  danger,  and 
almost  every  detail  of  local  management,  felt 
the  mischief  of  having  its  Executive  authority 
exercised  on  the  other  side  of  the  Atlantic.' 
On  the  other  side  of  the  Atlantic  again,  the 
British  public  are  wholly  ignorant  of  colonial 
conditions,  so  are  the  large  majority  of  members 
of  Parliament ;  and,  except  on  the  occasion  of 
some  great  colonial  crisis,  '  responsibility  to  Parlia- 
ment, or  to  the  public  opinion  of  Great  Britain, 
would  be  positively  mischievous,  if  it  were  not 
impossible.'  The  Secretaries  of  State  are  being 
constantly  changed  on  party  grounds,  which  have 
nothing  whatever  to  do  with  the  colonies  :  they 
therefore  have  no  time  to  learn  their  business,  and 


consequently  the  management  of  the  colonies  rest  s 
with  'the  permanent  but  utterly  irresponsible 
members  of  the  office '.  Thus,  in  the  first  place, 
there  is  no  responsibility  anywhere  for  colonial 
administration  under  the  existing  system ;  in  the 
second  place,  the  business  of  the  Colonial  Office  is 
so  multifarious  that,  in  his  short  tenure  of  office, 
the  Secretary  of  State  cannot  master  it  himself ; 
in  the  third  place,  his  advisers  have  no  first-hand 
local  knowledge ;  and  in  the  fourth  place,  the  con- 
stant changes  of  Secretaries  of  State  mean  constant 
change  of  policy,  so  that  to  ignorance  is  added 
vacillation  as  an  accompaniment  of  colonial  ad- 
ministration ;  finally,  there  is  superadded  a  general 
secrecy  as  to  the  motives  and  purposes  of  the 
rulers,  resulting  (to  quote  the  side-note  to  the 
passage)  in  '  ignorance  of  the  people  as  to  the 
proceedings  of  their  government '. 

In  a  later  passage  (ii.  192)  referring  more  especi- 
ally to  Upper  Canada,  Lord  Durham  reverts  to 
the  injury  done  to  a  colony  by  allowing  the  policy 
of  its  administration  to  depend  upon  political 
changes  at  home.  The  general  feeling  in  the  pro- 
vince was,  he  tells  us,  that  'they  ask  for  greater 
firmness  of  purpose  in  their  rulers,  and  a  more 
defined  and  consistent  policy  on  the  part  of  the 
government ;  something,  in  short,  that  will  make 
all  parties  feel  that  an  order  of  things  has  been 
established  to  which  it  is  necessary  that  they 
should  conform  themselves,  and  which  is  not  to 
be  subject  to  any  unlocked  for  and  sudden  in- 
terruption consequent  upon  some  unforeseen  move 
in  the  game  of  politics  in  England '. 


Many  years  have  now  passed  since  all  parties 
and  all  schools  of  thought  in  this  country  recog- 
nized, that  in  the  case  of  the  white  communities 
in  the  British  Empire,  responsibility  for  good  or 
bad  government  must  be  vested  in  the  people  on 
the  spot;  but,  though  Lord  Durham  treated  of 
the  Colonial  Office  only  in  reference  to  these  com- 
munities, it  is  impossible  to  estimate  how  far  the 
Colonial  Office  deserved  the  blame  which  men  like 
Molesworth  attached  to  it,  without  taking  into 
consideration  the  Crown  Colonies  also.  In  the 
first  place,  it  is  difficult  to  suppose  that  this  office, 
under  the  guidance  of  Sir  James  Stephen,  and 
with  men  like  Sir  Henry  Taylor  and  Sir  T.  F. 
Elliot,  either  in  it  or  connected  with  it,  was 
abnormally  bad,  worse  than  other  public  offices 
in  England  at  the  time.  The  age  was  ripe  for  a 
change  of  system  as  regards  Canada  and  Australia, 
and  the  change  was  carried  out ;  but  it  does  not 
follow  either  that  responsible  government  could 
usefully  have  been  granted  at  a  much  earlier  date, 
or  that  the  Colonial  Office  in  particular  was  to 
blame  for  withholding  it  till  Lord  Durham's  time. 
In  the  second  place,  the  grounds  on  which  Moles- 
worth  condemned  the  Colonial  Office  as  absolutely 
hopeless  and  impossible  have,  as  regards  the  Crown 
Colonies,  continued  to  exist  in  a  greater  or  less 
degree  down  to  the  present  day,  and,  notwith- 
standing, England,  and  the  Empire,  and  the  Colonial 
Office,  and  the  world  generally  have  gone  on  very 
comfortably  all  the  same.  There  are  still  the  ob- 
vious disadvantages  arising  from  constant  changes 
of  Secretaries  of  State  :  the  duties  thrown  on  each 

1352-1  T 


Secretary  of  State  in  turn  are  infinitely  more  multi- 
farious than  whose  which  Molesworth  declared 
that  no  one  man  could  adequately  discharge :  as 
a  necessary  consequence,  much  responsibility  still 
devolves,  and  must  always  devolve,  upon  the  per- 
manent advisers  of  the  Secretary  of  State  ;  and 
in  their  case  want  of  first-hand  personal  know- 
ledge of  local  conditions  is  still— though  not  to 
so  great  an  extent  as  before — almost  inevitable 
as  regards  some  outlying  parts  of  the  Empire. 
It  is  true  that  steam  and  electricity  are  mini- 
mizing distance  so  far  as  it  is  a  factor  in  mis- 
government ;  but  the  same  forces  have  infinitely 
multiplied  the  facilities  for  constant  interference 
from  home,  whether  by  the  Colonial  Office  or  by 
the  House  of  Commons.  Molesworth,  in  his  hatred 
of  an  irresponsible  bureaucracy  at  a  distance, 
advocated,  even  in  the  cases  of  Crown  Colonies, 
establishing  responsibility  in  the  colony  rather 
than  at  home  ;  but  he  admitted  that  such  colonies 
were  not  suitable  for  representative  institutions, 
and  therefore,  on  his  own  showing,  the  power,  if 
removed  from  the  Home  Government,  must  have 
been  vested  either  in  a  despotic  governor,  or  in 
a  governor  advised  by  a  white  oligarchy,  with  the 
prospect  of  reproducing  the  evils  of  Roman  pro- 
vincial administration  under  the  republican  regime. 
It  is  too  often  left  out  of  sight  that  government 
from  a  distance  is  not  all  evil,  especially  where 
coloured  men  are  concerned.  It  means,  or  ought 
to  mean,  government  of  coloured  races  without 
being  influenced  by  colour  prejudices ;  and  if  it  is 
coupled,  as  it  is  in  the  case  of  the  British  Crown 


Colonies,  with  the  grant  of  wide  discretion  to  the 
governors  and  officers  on  the  spot,  a  form  of  govern- 
ment results  which,  tried  by  the  test  of  the  greatest 
happiness  of  the  greatest  number,  will  bear  com- 
parison with  any  political  system  in  the  history  of 
the  world. 

The  British  Empire  contains  probably  a  greater 
number  of  diverse  elements  than  any  association 
of  peoples  and  races  has  ever  contained,  and  the 
essence  of  the  Home  Government  is  the  party 
system.  The  interests  of  the  whole  require,  on 
the  one  hand,  that  full  play  for  the  diverse  elements 
should  be  combined  with  some  general  rules,  some 
approach  to  uniformity  in  the  main  lines  of  public 
administration ;  and  on  the  other,  that  the  constant 
changes  at  head-quarters,  which  the  party  system 
involves,  should  be  counterbalanced  by  one  or  more 
institution^  which  make  for  tradition  and  con- 
tinuity. Under  the  Crown,  which  is  the  one  great 
bond  of  the  Empire,  an  office  like  the  Colonial 
Office,  putting  its  value  at  the  lowest,  and  omitting 
all  its  work  of  direct  administration,  discharges  an 
absolutely  necessary  function  in  supplying  some 
measure  of  uniformity  and  of  continuity.  The 
Colonial  Office  has  always  been  and  always  will  be 
easy  to  attack,  but  to  those  who  stop  to  think  it  is 
110  less  easy  to  defend. 



THE  questions,  how  far  Lord  Durham  read  the 
past  correctly,  how  far  he  formed  a  correct  fore- 
cast of  the  future,  and  how  far  his  recommenda- 
tions were  adopted,  have  to  a  large  extent  been 
answered  already. 

Omitting  points  of  detail,  and  instances  of 
exaggerated  language,  and  noting  once  more  that 
the  accuracy  of  Lord  Durham's  account  of  parties 
and  conditions  in  Upper  Canada  was  most  strongly 
and  categorically  challenged  by  both  Houses  of 
the  provincial  Legislature  at  the  time,1  it  seems 
fair  to  say  that  the  main  fault  in  his  retrospect 
was  the  amount  of  blame  which  he  attached  to  the 
British  Government,  especially  in  regard  to  Lower 
Canada,  although  he  speaks  of  '  the  uniform  good 
intentions  which  the  Imperial  Government  has 
clearly  evinced  towards  every  class  and  every  race 
in  the  colony '  (ii.  100).  It  cannot  be  too  often 
repeated  that  he  had  in  him  something  of  a 
Strafford  or  a  Cromwell :  he  understood  despotism 
and  he  understood  self-government,  but  he  had 
no  patience  with  half-way  compromise  ;  and  from 

1  The  Report  of  the  Select  Committee  of  the  House  of  Assembly  is 
given  in  the  Parliamentary  Paper  No.  289,  June  1839, '  Copies  or  Extracts 
of  Correspondence  relative  to  the  Affairs  of  Canada,'  and  the  Report  of 
the  Select  Committee  of  the  Legislative  Council  will  be  found  at  pp.  173- 
88  of  Canadian  Constitutional  Development  (Egerton  and  Grant). 


this  point  of  view  he  reviewed  and  censured  back 
history,  judging  the  men  of  1791  or  earlier  in  the 
light  of  1838.  '  It  is  difficult  to  conceive,'  he  writes 
(ii.  76),  '  what  could  have  been  their  theory  of 
government,  who  imagined  that  in  any  colony 
of  England  a  body  invested  with  the  name  and 
character  of  a  representative  Assembly,  could  be 
deprived  of  any  of  those  powers,  which,  in  the 
opinion  of  Englishmen,  are  inherent  in  a  popular 
legislature.'  In  this  passage  he  talks  of  the 
Assembly  being  deprived  of  powers  which  it  had 
never  possessed.  There  is  no  hint  or  suggestion 
that  the  constitution  of  1791  was  a  distinct  step 
forward  ;  that  representative  institutions  without 
responsible  government  were  not  unknown  else- 
where in  the  British  Empire,  as  for  instance  in  the 
West  Indies  ;  that  the  constitution  of  1791  may 
have  been,  and  probably  was,  a  wise  preparatory 
stage,  especially  in  view  of  the  fact  that  French 
Canadians  had  never  in  the  whole  course  of  their 
history  known  any  kind  of  political  representa- 
tion. It  was  enough  for  him  that  the  system  was 
faulty,  as  tried  by  the  standard  of  his  own  day, 
and,  this  being  the  case,  he  took  up  the  position 
that  the  people  of  Canada  had  been  deprived  of 
rights  which  all  men  ought  to  enjoy. 

Still  more  open  to  criticism  is  the  interesting 
passage  (ii.  62-71)  in  which  he  condemns  the 
division  of  Canada  into  two  provinces,  and  the 
policy  pursued  towards  French  Canada,  as  a  policy 
which  was  mistaken  in  the  first  place,  and  in  the 
second  place  not  consistently  followed  up. 

He  lays  down   that,   after  the  United  States 


had  become  independent,  the  British  Government 
adopted  towards  their  remaining  possessions  in 
North  America  a  policy  of  Divide  et  Impera  :  that 
their  object  was  '  to  isolate  the  inhabitants  of  the 
British  from  those  of  the  revolted  colonies  '  :  to 
govern  the  colonies  which  still  belonged  to  Great 
Britain  '  by  means  of  division,  and  to  break  them 
down  as  much  as  possible  into  petty  isolated  com- 
munities, incapable  of  combination,  and  possessing 
no  sufficient  strength  for  individual  resistance  to 
the  Empire  '.  As  an  illustration  of  the  intent  to 
isolate  Canada  from  the  United  States,  he  quotes 
instructions  which  were  given  by  the  Government 
to  prohibit  settlement  and  maintain  a  belt  of 
woodland  on  the  American  frontier  south  of  the 
St.  Lawrence,  whereas  these  instructions  were 
given  on  military  advice,  and  for  purely  military 
reasons,  in  the  light  of  the  war  of  1812. l  To  the 
same  imaginary  intention  of  keeping  up  division 
and  preventing  consolidation,  he  attributes  the 
division  of  the  Province  of  Quebec  by  the  Act  of 
1791,  and  then  he  proceeds  to  attack  the  Govern- 
ment for  not  having  fully  carried  out  the  policy 
of  separation  which  was  embodied  in  the  Act. 
His  argument  is,  either  French  Canada  might 
have  been  left  entirely  to  the  French,  or  it  might 
have  been  gradually  but  surely  denationalized  and 
incorporated  in  British  colonization.  The  latter 
was  the  course  which  he  maintained  should  have 
been  adopted ;  but,  the  other  alternative  having 
been  chosen,  the  policy  of  French  Canada  for  the 
French  Canadians  should  have  been  rigidly  adhered 

1  See  above,  p.  203,  and  note  2  to  vol.  ii,  p.  65. 


to.  '  The  province  should  have  been  set  apart  to 
be  wholly  French,  if  it  was  not  to  be  rendered  com- 
pletely English.'  The  Home  Government,  however, 
while  trying  to  preserve  the  French  character  of 
the  Lower  Province,  encouraged  British  immigra- 
tion into  it ;  there  was  a  mixture  of  French  and 
British  laws  and  land  tenures  and  religions  and  so 
forth  ;  with  the  result  that  the  province  became 
neither  one  thing  nor  the  other,  and  was  the  scene 
of  discord  of  races. 

It  was  hardly  true  to  facts,  or  fair  to  the  Govern- 
ment of  Great  Britain,  to  represent  it  as  inspired 
by  the  principle  of  Divide  et  Impera  in  its  dealings 
with  the  British  North  American  provinces ;  nor 
was  this  policy  in  the  minds  of  those  who  framed 
and  carried  the  Act  of  1791.  It  is  true  that  that 
Act  divided  Canada  into  two  provinces,  one  mainly 
French,  the  other  British  ;  but  the  object  which 
was  aimed  at  was,  not  so  much  isolation  of  the 
French  Canadians,  as  gradual  assimilation  of  the 
two  races  to  each  other,  by  letting  them  grow  up 
side  by  side,  without  overlapping  too  much,  until 
they  knew  each  other  better.  Again,  it  was  not 
true  to  facts,  though  it  was  convenient  as  a  genera- 
lization for  a  treatise,  to  lay  down  that  there  are 
only  two  methods  of  dealing  with  a  conquered 
territory — either  the  whole  of  this  or  the  whole 
of  that.  Practical  statesmen  find  it  necessary  to 
compromise  ;  a  thorough  policy  is  not  often  desir- 
able, and,  when  a  House  of  Commons  has  to 
be  consulted,  almost  impossible.  Lord  Durham, 
beyond  question,  put  his  finger  upon  the  weak  spot 
in  British  colonial  policy,  when  he  emphasized  the 


evils  which  arise  from  not  following  out  one  course 
consistently,  but  this  weakness  had  not  been 
exceptionally  conspicuous  in  the  case  of  British 
North  America.  There  had  been,  no  doubt,  change 
and  vacillation,  as  for  instance  in  regard  to  the 
abortive  Bill  of  1822  for  re-uniting  the  two  Canadas ; 
but  there  had  been  no  violent  reversals  of  policy, 
such  as  have  marked  the  history  of  South  Africa. 
On  the  whole,  one  Secretary  of  State  after  another, 
on  either  side  of  the  House,  had  striven  to  con- 
ciliate the  French  Canadians,  while  not  conceding 
their  full  demands.  They  had  compromised,  they 
had  tried  to  hold  the  balance  even  between  the 
contending  parties  and  races,  they  had  not  pro- 
nounced for  one  or  for  the  other.  Lord  Durham 
blamed  them  for  not  having  steadily  and  with 
a  whole  heart  taken  the  British  side,  and  sub- 
ordinated the  French ;  but  such  a  policy  could 
have  succeeded  only  on  two  hypotheses,  first,  that 
the  Home  Government  had  determined  to  run 
counter  to  the  British  instinct  of  fair  play  and 
generosity  to  the  conquered,  which  after  all  is 
nearly  the  most  valuable  asset  that  a  ruling  race 
can  possess ;  and  secondly,  that  party  govern- 
ment in  England  would  have  permitted  the  con- 
tinuance for  at  least  a  generation  of  a  policy  of 
coercion  in  Canada.  Neither  hypothesis  would 
ever  have  come  to  pass,  and  the  practical  impossi- 
bility of  what  Lord  Durham  would  have  advised 
invalidates  his  criticism  of  what  actually  was  done. 
The  Home  Government  showed  little  strength 
and  little  foresight  in  dealing  with  Canada,  but 
they  were  consistent  in  letting  natural  forces  have 


their  play,  and  in  giving  as  much  rope  as  possible 
to  the  French  Canadians  short  of  self-government. 
Lord  Durham  saw  when  the  time  had  come  for 
self-government ;  and  he  saw  what  might  have  been 
an  ideal  solution,  if  England  had  not  been  England, 
and  the  French  Canadians  had  not  had  a  natural 
desire  to  remain  French  Canadians  ;  but,  if  the 
actual  conditions  of  the  case  are  taken  into  con- 
sideration, his  retrospect  of  the  past  is  not  good 

If  Lord  Durham  were  now  alive,  he  would 
probably  maintain  that,  so  far  as  he  failed  to  fore- 
cast the  future  of  Canada  correctly,  it  was  because 
his  recommendations  were  not  fully  carried  out ; 
but  in  any  case  it  must  be  admitted  that  he  wholly 
underrated  the  strength  and  the  tenacity  of  the 
French  Canadian  race.  He  looked  upon  absorp- 
tion into  Anglo-Saxon  surroundings  as  the  inevit- 
able fate  of  the  French  Canadians.  He  writes  of 
*  the  vain  endeavour  to  preserve  a  French  Canadian 
nationality  in  the  midst  of  Anglo-American  colonies 
and  states  '  (ii.  70) ;  and  again,  '  It  is  but  a  ques- 
tion of  time  and  mode  ;  it  is  but  to  determine 
whether  the  small  number  of  French  who  now 
inhabit  Lower  Canada  shall  be  made  English,  under 
a  Government  which  can  protect  them,  or  whether 
the  process  shall  be  delayed  until  a  much  larger 
number  shall  have  to  undergo,  at  the  rude  hands 
of  its  uncontrolled  rivals,  the  extinction  of  a  nation- 
ality strengthened  and  embittered  by  continu- 
ance' (ii.  292).  It  is  interesting  to  contrast  this 
view  with  the  forecast  made  by  Governor  Carleton 
in  the  year  1767.  There  were  then  but  few  English 


in  French  Canada,  for  Canada  had  only  lately  been 
transferred  to  British  keeping,  yet  Carleton  con- 
templated that  the  superiority  of  the  French  to 
the  English  in  numbers  would  not  decrease  but 
increase.  '  Barring  a  catastrophe  shocking  to 
think  of,'  he  wrote  to  Lord  Shelburne,  *  this 
country  must,  to  the  end  of  time,  be  peopled  by 
the  Canadian  race,  who  already  have  taken  such 
firm  root,  and  got  to  so  great  a  height,  that  any 
new  stock  transplanted  will  be  totally  hid,  and 
imperceptible  amongst  them,  except  in  the  Towns 
of  Quebec  and  Montreal.'  1  Lord  Durham  notes 
the  fecundity  of  the  French  Canadians,  but  notes 
it  only  as  leading  to  further  subdivision  of  estates 
and  deterioration  of  the  people,  and  he  speaks 
of  the  race  as  destitute  of  invigorating  qualities. 
His  British  predilections,  his  imperialism,  and  his 
political  views,  all,  it  would  seem,  coloured  his 
vision  in  regard  to  the  French  Canadians.  He 
stated  in  so  many  words  that  their  race  was  in  a 
condition  of  hopeless  inferiority  to  the  English :  he 
desired  to  submerge  it,  for  constructive  reasons,' 
in  order  to  produce  one  great  uniform  British 
nationality :  and,  as  a  Radical,  he  had  no  hope  of 
any  good  thing  coming  out  of  the  intense  con- 
servatism and  feudal  institutions  of  French  Canada. 
Possibly  he  might  have  modified  his  views, 
had  he  stayed  longer  in  Canada  and  studied  the 
French  Canadians  in  normal  times.  He  came  and 
went  at  a  time  when  race  animosity  was  unduly 
accentuated;  and  probably  on  the  one  hand  he 
exaggerated  the  intensity  of  the  feeling,  while  on 

1  Shortt  and  Doughty,  p.  198.     See  note  1,  vol.  ii,  p.  70. 


the  other  he  erred  in  thinking  that  it  could  be 
extinguished  by  a  policy  which  aimed  at  eradicating 
the  nationality.  The  analogies,  which  he  quotes, 
seem  to  show  that  he  did  not  sufficiently  estimate 
how  much  the  preservation  or  the  extinction  of 
nationality  is  a  question  of  degree.  He  takes  the 
case  of  Louisiana,  but  the  French  in  the  province 
of  Quebec  held  it  by  far  greater  numbers  and  by 
far  longer  tenure  than  they  held  Louisiana ;  while 
the  Dutch  in  New  York,  to  whom  Lord  Durham 
also  refers,  had  only  a  fifty  years'  tenure  of  Man- 
hattan Island  and  the  Hudson  valley  before  they 
were  brought  under  British  rule.  He  might  have 
noted  that  the  Dutch  in  South  Africa  absorbed 
the  handful  of  Huguenots  who  settled  among  them, 
but  this  illustration  also  would  not  have  been  in 
point.  From  the  dawn  of  colonization  in  North 
America  the  valley  of  the  St.  Lawrence  had  been 
the  home  of  the  French,  and  the  history  of  Canada 
had  testified  abundantly  to  their  stubbornness 
and  their  strength.  In  the  year  1838  or  1839  it 
was  too  late  to  talk  of  denationalizing  a  people 
who  had  made  the  land  their  own  ;  and  it  was 
hopeless  to  think  that  efforts  to  do  so  would 
extinguish  the  bitterness  of  race  feeling.  It  was 
left  to  Lord  Elgin,  while  carrying  out  in  full  Lord 
Durham's  views  of  responsible  government,  and 
sharing  Lord  Durham's  confidence  that  respon- 
sible government  would  make  for  loyalty  and  not 
for  separation,  to  repudiate  at  the  same  time  his 
father-in-law's  doctrine  that  the  French  should  be 
denationalized,  and  to  advocate  free  play  for  their 
language  and  their  usages.  Later  history  has 


proved  how  far  from  the  fact  was  Lord  Durham's 
estimate  that  the  French  Canadian  nationality 
must  necessarily  be  absorbed  ;  for,  having  been 
left  to  its  destiny  under  a  system  of  popular 
government,  it  has  more  than  held  its  own  within 
and  even  beyond  the  province  of  Quebec. 

How  far  race  antagonism  in  Canada  has  been 
diminished  since  Lord  Durham's  time,  and  to  what 
degree  French  and  English  have  come  closer  to 
each  other,  it  would  be  difficult  to  estimate  with 
any  approach  to  accuracy.  French  are  French, 
and  British  are  British,  and  will  remain  so  till 
the  end.  On  the  other  hand,  modern  life  makes 
for  greater  courtesy  and  forbearance  as  between 
peoples  and  races.  French  and  English  have 
lived  side  by  side  for  seventy  more  years  since 
Lord  Durham  wrote,  and  have  acquired  habits  and 
traditions  of  co-operation ;  and — most  important 
point  of  all — the  confederation  of  Canada  by  the 
British  North  America  Act  of  1867  has  completely 
altered  the  position,  for,  to  quote  once  more  the 
words  of  Chief  Justice  Smith's  wise  letter  of  1790, 
that  Act  has  erected  '  a  Power  upon  the  Continent 
itself,  to  control  all  its  own  little  Republics  V  and 
race  difficulties  are  not  increased  by  appeal  to, 
and  resentment  against,  a  Legislature  on  the  other 
side  of  the  Atlantic. 

A  second  point  in  regard  to  which,  if  Lord 
Durham  were,  so  to  speak,  to  be  pinned  down  to 
the  wording  of  his  Report,  he  did  not  form  a  correct 
forecast,  of  the  future,  is  the  extent  to  which  he 
held  that  colonial  self-government  can  be  limited, 

1  Canadian  Constitutional  Development  (Egerton  and  Grant),  p.  105. 


and  a  line  be  drawn  between  matters  of  imperial 
concern.  It  may  well  be  answered  that  it  is  not 
fair  to  criticize  his  words  in  this  respect,  as  being 
intended  to  hold  true  for  all  time  ;  that  he  took 
conditions  as  they  were  ;  and  under  those  con- 
ditions laid  down  limits  to  the  freedom  of  the 
colony  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  interference  of 
the  mother  country  on  the  other ;  but  that  it 
does  not  follow  that,  under  the  altered  conditions 
of  later  times,  he  would  have  upheld  those  limits 
as  unalterable.  It  has  been  seen  that  he  enu- 
merates (ii.  282)  '  the  constitution  of  the  form  of 
government — the  regulation  of  foreign  relations, 
and  of  trade  with  the  mother  country,  the  other 
British  Colonies,  and  foreign  nations — and  the  dis- 
posal of  the  public  lands'  as  'the  only  points  on 
which  the  mother  country  requires  a  control ' ;  and 
he  notes  that  '  a  perfect  subordination,  on  the  part 
of  the  colony,  on  these  points,  is  secured  by  the 
advantages  which  it  finds  in  the  continuance  of 
its  connexion  with  the  Empire  '.  He  wrote  in  the 
light  of  his  own  day,  when  colonies  were  not 
dominions,  when  the  small  had  not  become  great, 
and  could  not  stand  alone.  It  would  be  pettifogging 
to  tie  his  memory  to  the  exact  words.  But  it  is 
a  fair  criticism  to  say  that,  while  he  laid  stress 
on  self-government  as  creating  a  national  exis- 
tence, he  did  not  seem  fully  to  recognize  that  when 
once  an  oversea  community  has  been  endowed 
with  national  institutions,  it  is  difficult,  if  not 
impossible,  to  set  a  limit  to  its  growth  as  a  nation, 
or  permanently  to  withhold  any  subject  as  out- 
side its  scope.  Free  Trade  had  not  come  in 


England  when  he  wrote  ;  he  does  not  refer  to  it, 
but  it  was  well  on  the  way ;  and,  when  it  came, 
it  profoundly  modified  the  colonial  problem  ;  but, 
apart  from  a  particular  national  movement,  the 
effects  of  which  he  might  or  might  not  have  fore- 
seen, there  is  no  indication  that  he  at  all  foresaw 
to  what  responsible  government  was  going  to  lead, 
and  to  what  it  inevitably  must  lead.  Cornewall 
Lewis's  reasoning,  in  the  passage  which  has  already 
been  quoted,  is  unanswerable.  *  If  the  govern- 
ment of  the  dominant  country  substantially  govern 
the  dependency,  the  representative  body  cannot 
substantially  govern  it ;  and,  conversely,  if  the 
dependency  be  substantially  governed  by  the 
representative  body,  it  cannot  be  substantially 
governed  by  the  government  of  the  dominant 
country.  A  self-governing  dependency  (supposing 
the  dependency  not  to  be  virtually  independent) 
is  a  contradiction  in  terms.'  J  After  responsible 
government  had  been  given  to  Canada,  it  was 
substantially  governed  by  the  representative  body 
of  Canada,  and  ceased  to  be  substantially  governed 
by  England.  Lord  Durham,  to  judge  from  his 
words,  seemed  to  think  that  the  substantial  govern- 
ment could  be  divided,  and  that  Canada,  while 
becoming  a  nation,  could  remain  a  subordinate 
nation ;  but  history  has  abundantly  shown  that, 
starting  from  the  grant  of  self-government,  there 
can  be  but  one  line  of  movement,  from  subordina- 
tion to  complete  equality.  It  is  true — taking  his 
reservations — that  the  Constitution  of  Canada 
still  depends  upon  Imperial  legislation;  that  the 

1  Government  of  Dependencies,  p.  '289. 


external  relations  of  Canada  in  political  matters 
are  still  under  Imperial  control;  that,  while  the 
self-governing  dominions  have  for  half  a  century 
and  more  been  left  to  settle  their  own  tariffs,  it  has 
never  been  admitted  in  principle  that  they  can 
differentiate  at  will;  that  control  of  the  Public 
Lands  in  Canada  was  not  reserved  to  the  Imperial 
government  because  that  government  was  in  effect 
already  pledged  to  concede  it.  But  the  broad  fact 
remains  that  the  Canadian  self-government  of  to- 
day is  not  what  Lord  Durham  recommended,  and 
the  Canada  of  to-day  is  more  nearly  an  allied 
than  a  subordinate  nation. 

A  third  point  on  which  Lord  Durham  failed  to 
forecast  the  future  has  been  sufficiently  laboured 
already.  It  relates  to  the  actual  extent  of  the 
Canadian  Dominion.  He  contemplated  a  dominion, 
but  consisting  only  of  the  present  eastern  pro- 
vinces. He  did  not  look  from  sea  to  sea,  a  vision 
to  which  even  a  lesser  prophet  than  himself  might 
have  been  moved.  But  without  further  criticizing 
his  outlook,  it  is  time  to  note  how  far  his  recom- 
mendations were  adopted. 

The  recommendation  that  the  two  Canadian 
provinces  should  be  reunited  was  carried  out,  but 
not  as  he  had  intended.  He  had  expressed  him- 
self (ii.  323,  324)  as  entirely  opposed  to  '  the  mere 
amalgamation  of  the  Houses  of  Assembly  of  the 
two  Provinces',  and  also  'to  every  plan  that  has 
been  proposed  for  giving  an  equal  number  of 
members  to  the  two  Provinces  '.  He  had  con- 
templated complete  fusion  of  the  two  provinces, 
and  new  electoral  divisions  formed  by  a  Parlia- 


nientary  Commission,  with  a  view  to  '  giving 
representation,  as  near  as  may  be,  in  proportion 
to  population '.  He  had,  no  doubt,  in  his  mind 
the  Union  Bill  of  1822,  which  had  proposed  to 
re-unite  the  two  provinces  on  the  basis  of  at  first 
simply  joining  together  the  existing  members  of  the 
two  Legislative  Councils  and  of  the  two  Assem- 
blies, with  a  provision  for  the  future  that  the 
elected  representatives  for  each  province  should 
not  exceed  sixty.  To  this  method  of  reunion, 
which  would  continue  to  treat  Canada  as  two 
provinces  and  not  as  one,  Lord  Durham  was 
entirely  opposed ;  and  when  the  Melbourne  Ministry 
first  handled  his  Report  and  first  drafted  a  Reunion 
Bill,  they  were  inclined  to  share  his  views.  On 
the  3rd  of  June  1839,  Lord  John  Russell  stated 
in  the  House  of  Commons  that  '  It  is  our  opinion 
generally,  that  you  ought  not  to  lay  down  any 
precise  number  of  representatives  for  Lower  Canada 
and  for  Upper  Canada  V  but,  after  going  through 
various  drafts,  and  being  recast  in  Canada,  the 
Union  Bill,  as  it  became  law  in  1840,  provided  in 
its  12th  section  that  in  the  Legislative  Assembly  of 
the  new  province  of  Canada,  Lower  Canada  and 
Upper  Canada  should  have  an  equal  number  of 
representatives,  and  the  effect  of  the  subsequent 
sections  of  the  Act  was  to  give  forty-two  members 
to  either  of  the  two  late  provinces.  The  Act 
empowered  the  new  Legislature  to  alter  the  system 
of  representation  by  a  two-thirds  majority  in 
both  houses,  but  the  net  result  was  to  federate 
Lower  and  Upper  Canada  rather  than  to  fuse 

1  Hansard's  Parliamentary  Debated,  vol.  xlvii,  pp.  12U4-G. 


them  ;  the  line  of  least  resistance  was  followed, 
and  the  complete  union  which  Lord  Durham  had 
desired  was  not  carried  out. 

The  only  provision  in  the  Act  which  at  all 
reflected  Lord  Durham's  attitude  towards  the 
French  Canadian  nationality,  was  the  41st  section, 
which  enacted  that  English  alone  should  be  the 
language  of  the  legislative  records,  and  this  section 
was  repealed  by  a  Provincial  Act  of  1848,  passed 
in  Lord  Elgin's  time.  From  the  outset  both  French 
and  English  were  used  in  the  debates,  and  the  first 
Speaker  of  the  Assembly,  after  the  union  had  come 
into  existence,  was  a  French  Canadian.  Nor  did 
the  Act  contain  any  provision  such  as  Lord  Dur- 
ham had  recommended,  and  such  as  was  subse- 
quently included  in  the  Confederation  Act  of  1867, 
to  enable  other  British  North  American  provinces 
to  enter  the  union.  In  short,  the  Act  of  1840 
was  a  compromise  Act,  falling  far  short  of  the 
root  and  branch  policy  which  Lord  Durham  had 
sketched  out. 

It  has  been  seen  that  his  policy  prescribed  that 
the  union  of  the  two  provinces  should  be  accom- 
panied by  the  grant  of  responsible  government, 
limited  by  various  restrictions,  and  that  Lord  John 
Russell  and  his  colleagues  were  not  prepared  to 
accept  in  full  either  the  principle  or  the  practice  of 
responsible  government.  Nor  was  Poulett  Thom- 
son, afterwards  Lord  Sydenham,  whom  the  Whigs 
selected  to  be  Governor-General  and  to  carry 
through  the  union.  But  they  were  all  moving  in 
Lord  Durham's  direction  :  all  were  agreed  to  try 
and  maintain  harmony  between  the  executive  and 

1352-1  U 


the  legislative  authorities,  by  employing  in  the 
service  of  the  Government  men  who  had  the  con- 
fidence of  the  people.  Lord  John  Russell  went  far 
towards  responsible  government  when,  in  a  dis- 
patch of  the  16th  of  October  1839,  he  laid  down 
that  the  high  executive  officers,  such  as  the  Colonial 
Secretary  and  the  Treasurer,  must  not  in  future 
be  considered  to  hold  their  posts  by  a  permanent 
tenure,  but  should  be  liable  to  be  changed  with 
the  change  of  Governor,  or  to  *  be  called  upon  to 
retire  from  the  public  service,  as  often  as  any 
sufficient  motives  of  public  policy  may  suggest  the 
expediency  of  that  measure  V  In  September  1841 
the  Assembly  of  United  Canada  passed  resolutions, 
said  to  have  been  drafted  by  Lord  Sydenham  him- 
self, the  first  of  which  laid  down  'that  the  most 
important,  as  well  as  the  most  undoubted,  of  the 
political  rights  of  the  people  of  this  Province  is 
that  of  having  a  Provincial  Parliament  for  the  pro- 
tection of  their  liberties,  for  the  exercise  of  a  con- 
stitutional influence  over  the  Executive  departments 
of  their  government,  and  for,  legislation  upon  all 
matters  of  internal  government ' ;  while  a  subse- 
quent resolution  declared  that,  in  order  to  preserve 
harmony,  '  the  chief  advisers  of  the  representative 
of  the  Sovereign,  constituting  a  Provincial  adminis- 
tration under  him,  ought  to  be  men  possessed  of 
the  confidence  of  the  Representatives  of  the  people  '.2 
No  legislation  was  needed  in  order  to  take  the 

1  See  Canadian  Constitutional  Development  (Egerton  and  Grant), 
pp. 270-2. 

1  See  Houston's  Documents  illustrative  of  the  Canadian  Constitution, 
pp.  303-4. 


further  step,  to  make  the  executive  a  purely 
parliamentary  executive,  to  give  full  scope  to 
party  government,  and  in  purely  Canadian  matters 
to  constitute  the  advisers  of  the  Governor,  as 
representing  the  majority  of  the  people,  the  real 
rulers  of  Canada.  This  step  was  taken  by  Lord 
Elgin  in  or  about  the  year  1848.  The  same  date 
may  be  given  to  the  completion  of  responsible 
government  in  the  Maritime  Provinces,1  and  it 
followed  very  shortly  afterwards  in  Newfoundland, 
Australia,  and  New  Zealand. 

Among  the  restrictions  on  responsible  govern- 
ment, Lord  Durham  designed  reform  of  the  Legis- 
lative Council,  which  should  then  '  act  as  an  useful 
check  on  the  popular  branch  of  the  Legislature  ' 
(ii.  326-7) ;  but,  as  has  been  noted,  he  left  to  others 
to  decide  on  what  lines  the  Council  should  be 
revised.  The  result  was  that  no  change  was  made, 
and  that  the  Union  Act  left  the  constitution  of  the 
Second  Chamber  as  it  had  been  framed  in  the  Act 
of  1791,  the  members  of  the  Council  being  nomi- 
nated for  life.  The  section  of  the  1791  Act,  how- 
ever, which  gave  power  to  the  Crown  to  attach  to 
hereditary  titles  of  honour  a  right  to  be  summoned 
to  the  Legislative  Council,  found  no  place  in  the 
Act  of  1840.  This  latter  Act  was  amended  in  1854 
by  another  Imperial  Act,  which  empowered  the 
Canadian  Legislature  to  alter  the  constitution  of 
the  Legislative  Council;  and  under  the  authority 
thus  given  a  provincial  law  was  passed  in  1856, 

1  1848  in  the  case  of  Nova  Scotia  and  New  Brunswick  ;  1851  in  that 
of  Prince  Edward  Island  ;  1855  in  that  of  Newfoundland.  See  Keith, 
Responsible  Oovernment  in  the  Dominions,  pp.  8-9. 



making  the  Legislative  Council  an  elective  body. 
But  under  the  British  North  America  Act  of  1867 
the  elective  principle  was  discarded,  for  the  mem- 
bers of  the  senate  are,  as  were  the  legislative 
councillors  under  the  Acts  of  1791  and  1840, 
nominated  to  hold  their  places  for  life. 

The  57th  section  of  the  Union  Act  embodied 
Lord  Durham's  recommendation  that  '  no  money 
votes  should  be  allowed  to  originate  without  the 
previous  consent  of  the  Crown '  (ii.  328),  and 
a  similar  provision  was  included  in  the  British 
North  America  Act  of  1867.  The  Union  Act  also 
followed  his  Report  in  charging  against  the  con- 
solidated revenue  fund  of  the  united  provinces  an 
ample  Civil  List.  This  list  was  divided  into  two 
schedules.  The  first  schedule  provided  £45,000  in 
permanence  to  cover  the  salaries  of  Governor  and 
Lieutenant-Governor,  the  salaries  and  pensions  of 
the  judges,  and  the  general  cost  of  administration 
of  justice.  The  second  schedule  provided  £30,000 
during  the  life  of  the  Queen  and  for  five  years  after- 
wards, to  cover  the  cost  of  the  salaries  and  pensions 
of  the  principal  executive  officers. 

In  the  year  1846  the  Canadian  Legislature 
passed  an  Act  for  granting  a  Civil  List  to  Her 
Majesty,  the  provisions  of  which  were  in  lieu  of 
the  Civil  List  sections  and  schedules  of  the  Union 
Act ;  and  in  the  following  year,  1847,  an  Imperial 
statute  1  gave  validity  to  this  provincial  Act,  and 
thereby  superseded,  so  far  as  the  Civil  List  was 
concerned,  the  terms  of  the  Union  Act.  On  this 
footing  the  Civil  List  continued  in  existence  until 
1  10  &  11  Viet.  c.  71. 


the  passing  of  the  British  North  America  Act  of 
1867,  when  it  finally  disappeared;1  but  the  salaries 
and  pensions  of  the  judges,  as  well  as  the  salaries 
of  the  ministers,  are  still  guaranteed  by  permanent 
Acts  of  the  Dominion  Parliament,  and  the  99th 
section  of  the  British  North  America  Act  provides 
that  the  judges  of  the  superior  courts  shall  hold 
office  during  good  behaviour,  removable  only  by 
the  Governor-General  on  address  of  the  Senate  and 
the  House  of  Commons.  The  judges  therefore  are 
given  the  independent  position  and  the  security 
of  tenure  upon  which  Lord  Durham  insisted. 

In  return  for  an  adequate  Civil  List,  Lord 
Durham  proposed  to  hand  over  to  the  control  of 
the  Legislature  all  the  Crown  revenues  except  those 
derived  from  public  lands  ;  but  in  accordance  with 
what  had  been  a  long  standing  offer  of  the  Home 
Government,  the  54th  section  of  the  Union  Act 
surrendered  in  return  for  the  Civil  List  the  terri- 
torial and  other  revenues  of  the  Crown,  which 
included  the  public  lands,  and  the  same  provision 
was  included  in  the  provincial  Civil  List  Act  of 
1846,  validated  by  the  Imperial  Act  of  1847,  to 
which  reference  has  been  made  above.  Finally, 
the  complete  control  of  the  Canadian  Government 
over  the  public  lands  of  the  province  was  assured 
by  the  Imperial  Act  of  1852,  which  cleared  up 
a  question  of  legal  ownership,  as  has  already  been 
explained.2  Thus  the  whole  of  Lord  Durham's 
elaborate  scheme  for  keeping  the  public  lands  of 
Canada  under  the  authority  of  the  Imperial 

1  Under  sections  102  and  126  of  the  British  North  America  Act. 
1  See  above,  p.  185. 


Government,  and  disposing  of  them  on  the  lines 
laid  down  by  Gibbon  Wakefield,  was  stillborn.1 

Under  the  head  of  public  lands  should  be  noted 
the  action  which  was  taken  with  regard  to  the 
clergy  reserves.  Lord  Durham,  in  discussing  the 
subject  (ii.  173-9),  contented  himself  with  the 
recommendation  that  all  provisions  in  Imperial 
Acts  relating  to  the  application  of  the  clergy 
reserves  and  the  funds  arising  from  them  should 
be  repealed,  and  that  the  disposal  of  the  funds 
should  be  left  to  the  local  Legislature  ;  and  in  the 
summary  of  his  recommendations  at  the  end  of 
his  Report,  he  suggested  (ii.  326-9)  that  the  same 
Imperial  Act  which  carried  out  the  union  of  the 
provinces  and  the  accompanying  changes,  should 
repeal  the  existing  provisions  relating  to  the  clergy 
reserves.  Before,  however,  the  Union  Act  was 
passed,  Poulett  Thomson  had  already  moved  in  the 
matter.  Shortly  after  his  arrival  in  Canada,  he 

1  The  case  was  summed  up  as  follows  in  Lord  John  Russell's  instruc- 
tions to  the  Land  and  Emigration  Commissioners  of  January  14,  1840. 
'  With  regard  to  British  North  America,  the  case  stands  as  follows. 
In  Upper  Canada  and  in  New  Brunswick,  the  sale  and  management  of 
waste  lands  is  vested  by  local  enactments  in  certain  local  authorities, 
with  whom  the  Crown  has  no  right  of  interference.  In  Nova  Scotia 
and  in  Newfoundland,  there  is  every  reason  to  anticipate  that  similar 
laws  will  be  shortly  passed  in  pursuance  of  offers  made  by  the  Crown 
to  assent  to  them.  In  the  present  state  of  affairs  in  Lower  Canada, 
this,  in  common  with  many  other  questions,  must  be  regarded  as  in 
abeyance.  In  general,  therefore,  it  may  be  stated  that  you  will  have 
no  power  to  contract  for  the  sale  of  lands  situate  in  British  North 
America,  or  in  any  of  the  adjacent  islands  '  (House  of  Commons  Paper* 
Colonial  Land  Board,  February  4,  1840,  p.  5). 

The  Canadian  Legislature  in  their  first  session  after  the  Union, 
1841,  passed  '  An  Act  for  disposal  of  Public  .Lands  ',  4  &  5  Viet.  c.  100, 
which,  among  other  provisions,  absolutely  prohibited  free  grants  of 


induced  the  Upper  Canada  Legislature,  in  the  session 
of  1839-40,  to  pass  a  Bill  which  devoted  the  revenues 
derivable  from  the  sale  of  clergy  reserve  lands  ex- 
clusively to  religious  purposes,  and  secured  to  the 
churches  of  England  and  Scotland  one-half  of  the 
future  proceeds,  leaving  the  remainder  to  be  dis- 
tributed for  the  support  of  religious  instruction 
among  the  different  Christian  denominations  in 
the  province,  in  proportion  to  the  numbers  of  their 
respective  adherents.  This  Bill,  when  sent  home, 
was  disallowed  as  being  ultra  vires;  and  in  the 
session  of  1840  the  Imperial  Parliament,  in  addition 
to  passing  the  Union  Act,  the  42nd  section  of 
which  dealt  with  ecclesiastical  and  Crown  rights, 
passed  also  a  special  Act  to  provide  for  the  sale 
of  the  clergy  reserves  in  Canada,  and  for  the  dis- 
tribution of  the  proceeds.1  Under  the  provisions 
of  this  Act,  two -thirds  of  the  proceeds  of  the  lands 
sold  prior  to  the  passing  of  the  Act  were  assigned 
to  the  Church  of  England  and  one-third  to  the 
Church  of  Scotland  ;  while  of  the  annual  proceeds 
of  future  sales,  one-third  was  appropriated  to  the 
Church  of  England,  one-sixth  to  the  Church  of  Scot- 
land, and  one-half  was  to  be  applied  for  purposes  of 
public  worship  and  religious  instruction  in  Canada. 
Poulett  Thomson,  in  sending  home  his  own  Act,  had 
intimated  that  public  opinion  in  Upper  Canada 
considered  it  to  be  too  favourable  to  the  Church 
of  England,  and  that  the  majority  of  the  people 
were  in  favour  of  applying  the  proceeds  of  the 
reserves  to  education  or  to  general  State  purposes  ; 
and  when  he  received  the  Imperial  Act  of  1840, 

1  3  &  4  Viet.  c.  78. 


which  was  still  more  favourable  to  the  Church  of 
England,  he  expressed  a  strong  opinion  as  to  the 
injustice  of  the  settlement.  The  sections  of  the 
Constitutional  Act  of  1791,  which  originally  created 
the  clergy  reserves,  gave  power  to  the  local  Legis- 
latures, under  certain  restrictions,  to  vary  or  repeal 
the  provisions  respecting  the  reserves ;  and, 
though  this  power  was  taken  away  by  the  Act  of 
1840,  Lord  Durham's  view  that  the  question  was 
one  to  be  settled  in  Canada  was  widely  shared  in 
England.  Accordingly,  in  1853,  the  Imperial 
Parliament  passed  a  further  Act l  empowering  the 
Canadian  Legislature  to  deal  with  the  matter ;  and 
in  the  following  year,  1854,  a  Canadian  law  finally 
set  to  rest  this  long  standing  grievance  and  con- 
troversy, by  secularizing  the  reserves  and  the 
moneys  accruing  from  them.  This  law  was  entitled 
'  An  Act  to  make  better  provision  for  the  appro- 
priation of  moneys  arising  from  the  lands  hereto- 
fore known  as  the  Clergy  Reserves  by  rendering 
them  available  for  municipal  purposes  '.  It  was 
an  uncompromising  Act,  for  it  recited  that  '  it  is 
desirable  to  remove  all  semblance  of  connexion 
between  Church  and  State ',  and  it  did  not  even 
provide  that  the  moneys  in  question  should  be 
applied  to  education,  but  handed  them  over  for 
municipal  purposes.  Still  treating  Canada  as  a 
federation  of  two  provinces  rather  than  as  a  single 
province,  it  provided  that  the  revenues  of  the  clergy 
reserves  should  be  paid  over  to  an  Upper  Canada 
and  a  Lower  Canada  municipalities  fund,  and 
should  be  divided  among  the  municipalities  in 

1  16  Viet.  c.  21. 


proportion  to  population.  On  the  day  that  this 
measure  became  law,  the  assent  of  the  Crown  was 
also  given  to  another  far-reaching  Act  passed  by 
the  Canadian  Legislature,  'for  the  abolition  of 
feudal  rights  and  duties  in  Lower  Canada ',  which 
put  an  end  to  the  seigniorial  system. 

Lord  Durham  proposed  (ii.  323-6)  that  the  Parlia- 
mentary Commission,  which  should  be  appointed 
to  form  the  future  electoral  districts  in  United 
Canada,  and  to  determine  the  number  and  allot- 
ment of  members,  should  also  form  a  plan  of  'local 
government  by  elective  bodies  subordinate  to  the 
General  Legislature.'  It  has  been  seen  that  he 
attached  paramount  importance  to  the  introduc- 
tion of  a  sound  system  of  municipal  and  loca*. 
institutions  into  Canada,  and  Poulett  Thomson 
was,  if  possible,  even  more  emphatic  on  the  sub- 
ject. In  a  passage  which  has  already  been  quoted,1 
the  latter  wrote  to  Lord  John  Russell  urging  that 
the  provision  of  machinery  by  which  local  taxation 
could  be  raised  for  local  purposes  was  a  necessary 
complement  of  the  reform  by  which  the  initiative 
of  money  votes  in  the  House  of  Assembly  would 
be  confined  to  the  Government ;  and  that  the 
establishment  of  municipal  institutions  therefore 
became  a  necessary  part  of  the  Union  Bill.  Clauses 
creating  district  councils  were  accordingly  embodied 
in  the  Bill;  but,  before  it  left  the  House  of  Commons, 
they  were  omitted,  largely  on  the  suggestion  of 
'  Bear '  Ellice ;  and  the  Bill,  as  it  became  law,  con- 
tained one  section  only — the  58th — which  referred 
to  the  constitution  of  townships.  The  omission  of 

1  See  above,  p.  218. 


the  municipal  clauses  was  bitterly  resented  by 
Poulett  Thomson,  who  wrote  in  September  1840,1 
condemning  in  the  strongest  possible  terms  the 
abandonment  of  what  he  considered  to  be  a  most 
vital  part  of  the  Union  Bill ;  but,  before  the  Act 
was  brought  into  operation,  he  passed  a  Local 
Government  ordinance  in  the  Special  Council  of 
Lower  Canada,  and  followed  it  up,  after  the  Union 
had  been  proclaimed,  by  carrying  a  similar  Bill  for 
Upper  Canada  through  the  Canadian  Legislature. 
A  few  years  later  the  elective  element  was  intro- 
duced more  largely  into  the  municipal  system  which 
he  had  created  in  the  two  provinces.2  Writing  in 
1861,  Merivale  referred  to  Upper  Canada  as  the 
only  British  colony  within  his  knowledge  that  had 
then  an  adequate  municipal  system.  '  The  same 
organization,'  he  added,  '  is  spreading  in  Lower 
Canada,  but  has  far  greater  difficulties  to  contend 
with.  Elsewhere,  in  British  North  America,  muni- 
cipal organization  seems  to  remain  in  a  most 
imperfect  state  ;  and  instead  of  local  rates,  public 
works  and  improvements  are  effected  by  grants 
from  the  central  legislature  ;  a  system  leading 
both  to  improvidence  and  to  corruption.'  ;  Under 
the  British  North  America  Act  of  1867,  by  the  92nd 
section,  '  municipal  institutions  in  the  province ' 

1  See  his  dispatch  to  the  Secretary  of  State,  September  16,  1840 
(Egerton  and  Grant,  pp.  280-7). 

1  See  note  to  Egerton  and  Grant,  p.  288,  which  states  that  the 
elective  system  for  municipal  officers  was  introduced  for  Lower  Canada 
in  1845,  and  for  Upper  Canada  in  1849,  and  that  '  these  Acts  are  still 
the  foundation  of  the  municipal  systems  of  the  Provinces  of  Quebec 
and  Ontario '. 

1  Lectures  on  Colonization  and  Colonies,  1861  ed.,  Appendix  to 
Lecture  XXII,  p.  653. 


are  included  among  the  exclusive  powers  of  the 
Provincial  Legislatures. 

Lord  Durham's  comments  and  recommendations 
on  the  subject  of  emigration  bore  no  fruit,  so  far 
as  emigration  was  coupled  with  the  disposal  of 
public  lands  as  a  factor  in  a  great  scheme  of 
imperial  colonization. 

In  his  instructions  to  Poulett  Thomson,  issued 
in  September  1839,  Lord  John  Russell  referred  to 
Lord  Durham's  Report,  as  only  placing  in  a  clearer 
light  the  difficulties  which  existed  in  the  case  of 
Canada  in  the  way  of  raising  an  emigration  fund 
from  the  sale  of  Crown  lands.1  But  immigration 
into  Canada — apart  from  the  subject  of  public 
lands — formed  the  subject  of  much  correspon- 
dence between  the  Governor- General  and  the 
Home  Government;  and  in  the  speech  with  which 
he  opened  the  Canadian  Legislature  in  the  summer 
of  1841,  Poulett  Thomson  announced  that  the 
Imperial  Government  was  prepared  to  assist  in 
facilitating  the  passages  of  immigrants  from  the 
port  of  landing  in  Canada  to  the  places  where  their- 
labour  would  be  made  available.2  By  this  time  the 
Board  of  Colonial  Land  and  Emigration  Com- 
missioners, established  in  January  1840,  had  been 
in  operation  for  more  than  a  year ;  and  in  Lord 
John  Russell's  initial  instructions  to  them  3  may 
be  traced  the  effects  of  Lord  Durham's  powerful 
criticism  of  the  want  of  adequate  safeguards  for 

1  See  Parliamentary  Paper,  1840.    Correspondence  relative  to  the 
Affairs  of  Canada,  Part  I,  p.  9. 
*  See  Egerton  and  Grant,  p.  291. 
3  House  of  Commons  Paper,  February  4,  1840,  Colonial  Land  Board. 


emigrants  embarking  from  the  ports  of  the  United 
Kingdom.  From  this  date  onwards,  the  provisions 
of  Passenger  Acts  and  Merchant  Shipping  Acts, 
administered  first  by  the  Land  and  Emigration 
Commissioners,  and  subsequently  by  the  Board  of 
Trade,  protected  British  emigrants  when  crossing 
the  seas ;  and  '  the  collection  and  diffusion  of 
accurate  statistical  knowledge  '  for  the  benefit  of 
Intending  Emigrants,  which  Lord  John  Russell 
included  in  the  list  of  duties  of  the  newly-formed 
Board,  is  now  provided,  not  only  by  the  repre- 
sentatives in  this  country  of  the  dominions  beyond 
the  seas,  but  also  by  the  Emigrants'  Information 
Office,  established  in  1886  by  the  Imperial  Govern- 

The  first  session  of  the  United  Legislature  of 
Canada,  at  the  close  of  which,  in  September  1841, 
Poulett  Thomson,  then  Lord  Sydenham,  died,  was 
rich  in  measures  dealing  with  subjects  which  had 
found  a  place  in  Lord  Durham's  Report.  In 
addition  to  the  District  Councils  Act  for  Upper 
Canada  already  mentioned,  an  Act  was  passed  to 
improve  the  administration  of  justice  in  minor 
civil  cases  in  Lower  Canada ;  and  a  Common 
Schools  Act  was  also  passed,  Poulett  Thomson 
having,  in  his  opening  speech  to  the  Legislature, 
reminded  its  members  that  '  a  due  provision  for  the 
education  of  the  people  is  one  of  the  first  duties 
of  the  State,  and  in  this  province,  especially,  the 
want  of  it  is  grievously  felt  V  Under  the  provi- 
sions of  this  Act,  the  newly-created  district  coun- 
cils of  the  province  were  constituted '  Boards  of 

1  Egerton  and  Grant,  p.  292. 


Education,  but  separate  schools  for  the  different 
denominations  were  included  under  the  heading  of 
common  schools.  Various  other  Education  Acts 
followed  in  later  years,  and  at  the  present  day, 
by  the  93rd  section  of  the  British  North  America 
Act  of  1867,  education — under  certain  restrictions 
—is  assigned  to  the  Provincial  Legislatures,  the 
rights  of  denominational  schools  in  the  provinces 
of  Ontario  and  Quebec  being  adequately  safe- 
guarded. Public  works  received  at  the  outset  of 
the  Union  as  much  attention  as  even  Lord  Durham 
could  have  desired.  In  this  same  first  session,  the 
Legislature  passed  an  Act  creating  a  Board  of 
Works  for  the  whole  province ;  and  an  Imperial 
Act  of  1842  guaranteed  the  interest  on  a  loan  of 
1^  million  sterling  to  be  raised  by  the  Canadian 
Government,  for  relieving  the  pressure  of  immediate 
financial  difficulties,  and  carrying  out  the  works 
which  were  so  sorely  needed  for  the  development 
of  Canada. 

Lord  Durham  died  in  England  in  1840.  Lord 
Sydenham  died  in  Canada  in  1841.  In  either  case, 
humanly  speaking,  the  career  was  foreshortened, 
yet  in  a  sense  in  either  case  the  career  was  com- 
plete. Lord  Durham  preached  his  gospel  and  died ; 
Lord  Sydenham,  before  he  too  died,  set  the  political 
machine  running  in  the  right  direction.  Then  the 
machine  went  on,  the  way  widened,  the  views 
widened,  men  grew  up  to  contemplate  a  nation, 
and  after  contemplating  to  create  it.  Lord  Dur- 
ham's Report  gave  the  inspiration.  Sydenham, 
with  his  combination  of  strong  popular  sympathies 
and  great  business  capacity,  showed  how  to  begin 


putting  principles  into  practice.  The  history  of 
Canada  has  been  on  the  whole  a  history  of  singular 
good  fortune ;  and  not  the  least  part  of  this  goo'd 
fortune  has  been,  that  Lord  Durham  should  have 
been  forthcoming  at  the  particular  time  when  he 
went  to  Canada,  and  that  Lord  Sydenham  should 
have  been  available  as  his  successor.  It  would  be 
difficult  to  find  in  the  chronicles  of  any  country 
two  men  who,  within  little  more  than  three  years 
in  all,  did  so  much  to  help  the  coming  time. 


How  far,  it  is  proposed  to  ask  in  conclusion, 
are  the  doctrines  or  principles  embodied  in  Lord 
Durham's  Report  of  universal  application  ?  The 
answer  consists  in  summarizing  in  a  very  few 
words,  and  to  some  extent  repeating,  what  has 
gone  before. 

Though  Lord  Durham  laid  down  in  his  Report 
far-reaching  principles  of  colonial  administration, 
it  must  always  be  borne  in  mind  that  he  was 
primarily  concerned  with  the  objects  of  a  special 
mission.  He  was  not  thinking  of  the  whole  world. 
He  was  not  even  thinking  of  the  whole  British 
Empire.  He  had  his  eyes  fixed  upon  the  British 
provinces  in  North  America,  to  which  he  had  been 
sent ;  and,  when  he  raised  his  eyes,  his  gaze  fell 
upon  the  adjoining  part  of  North  America  which 
had  once  belonged  to  Great  Britain,  and  the  pros- 
perity of  which  conveyed  to  his  mind  a  contrast 
and  a  moral.  Having  this  horizon,  he  propounded 
and  set  himself  to  answer  the  following  question. 
Given  a  people  living  at  a  distance  from  the 
central  authority,  who  are  either  of  British  race, 
or  at  any  rate  of  European  origin,  bred  up  under 
British  rule,  and  in  some  familiarity  with  British 
privileges  and  institutions,  what  under  such  cir- 
cumstances is  the  best  political  constitution,  de- 


signed  at  once  with  a  view  to  giving  contentment 
to  the  distant  community,  and  with  a  view  to 
maintaining  and  strengthening  its  connexion  with 
the  central  authority  ?  His  answer  was  that, 
with  certain  very  important  and  carefully  defined 
reservations,  the  distant  community  should  be  left 
to  govern  itself  on  the  lines  on  which  representative 
and  responsible  government  is  understood  and 
carried  on  in  the  United  Kingdom. 

It  will  be  noted  (1)  that  he  prescribed  for  distant 
communities ;  (2)  that  he  prescribed  for  commu- 
nities which  were  either  British,  or  Anglicized,  or 
ex  hypothesi  to  be  Anglicized,  and  which  already 
enjoyed  representative  institutions  ;  (3)  that  his 
prescription  was  responsible  government  most  care- 
fully restricted.  Each  of  these  points  require  a  few 
words  of  comment. 

It  has  been  pointed  out  that  one  of  the  most 
admirable  features  of  the  Report  is  the  stress  which 
is  laid  upon  the  importance  of  means  of  communica- 
tion, and  the  almost  prophetic  insight  which  the 
writer  possessed  of  the  extent  to  which  the  forces 
of  science  might  mould  the  future.  If  the  question 
which  has  just  been  stated  were  propounded  at 
the  present  day,  the  answer  would  be  that  in  all 
probability,  before  many  years  have  passed,  there 
will  be  no  distant  communities.  If  we  are  to 
reason  from  the  past  to  the  future,  the  day  will 
come,  and  may  come  in  no  very  long  time,  when 
distance  will  cease  to  exist  to  any  appreciable 
extent.  The  world  moves  so  constantly  and  so  fast 
that  statesmen,  and  writers,  and  thinkers,  never 
seem  sufficiently  to  take  stock  of  the  advance 

CHAP,  vn    THE  REPORT  AND  THE  EMPIRE       305 

which  has  been  made,  or  to  appreciate  that  what 
science  has  done  in  the  past  it  will  probably  do  in 
the  future,  only  at  a  perpetually  accelerated  pace. 
It  is  a  little  under  a  century  and  a  half  since,  in 
his  Observations  on  a  late  state  of  the  Nation,  Edmund 
Burke  elaborately  ridiculed  the  proposal  that  the 
American  colonies  should  be  represented  in  the 
British  Parliament,  working  out  the  time  that 
would  be  necessary  in  order  to  traverse  the  dis- 
tance. His  weeks  have  now  become  days  or  even 
less  ;  if  he  were  writing  at  the  present  time,  he 
would  have  to  recast  his  arguments  ;  and  if  the 
next  century  and  a  half  proves  to  be  as  fruitful  in 
scientific  discovery  and  invention  as  the  interval 
since  he  wrote  has  been,  distance  at  the  end  of 
that  period  will  have  vanished  altogether.1 

It  does  not  follow  that  elimination  of  distance 
will  necessarily  produce  unity  within  the  Empire  : 
there  are  instances  to  the  contrary,  which  go  to 

1  With  reference  to  the  great  merit  of  Lord  Durham's  Report  in 
appreciating  what  scientific  invention  would  do  for  the  Empire,  there 
is  an  interesting  passage  in  the  Annual  Register  for  1838,  written  in 
reference  to  his  Report,  which  shows  similar  confidence  in  the  future  of 
communications.  '  The  only  conceivable  course  for  bringing  our  colonial 
dependencies  within  the  legitimate  action  of  the  constitution  would  be 
to  summon  them  to  send  members  to  the  Imperial  parliament.  This 
is  a  remedy  which  to  some  may  seem  worse  than  the  evils  which  demand 
its  application.  Nor  can  it  be  dissembled  that  it  would  open  the  door  to 
a  multitude  of  ills,  the  nature  of  many  of  which  may  be  perceived  by 
the  inconvenience  which  is  produced  by  the  presence  of  some  of  the 
Irish  members  in  Parliament.  .  .  .  One  considerable  obstacle,  at  least, 
to  the  success  of  such  a  plan  as  we  have  been  noticing,  has  to  a  great 
extent  been  removed  by  the  speed  and  certainty  of  communication 
attained  by  steam  navigation,  so  that  it  is  probable  that  no  great 
inconvenience  to  any  party  would  now  ensue  from  the  delay  and 
difficulties  of  the  transit  between  Great  'Britain  and  her  Atlantic 
colonies '  (pp.  337-8). 

1332-1  X 


prove  that  distance  may  in  some  cases  lend  en- 
chantment ;  and,  while  the  distant  provinces  of  the 
Empire  are  year  by  year  being  brought  into  closer 
touch  with  each  other,  they  are  at  the  same  time 
and  by  the  same  means  being  brought  into  closer 
touch  with  foreign  nations ;  but  the  fact  remains 
that  the  difficulty  which  faced  Lord  Durham,  how 
to  hold  together  communities  at  a  distance  from 
each  other,  is  gradually  becoming  obsolete;  and 
this  particular  problem  is  being  superseded  by 
new  problems  and  new  difficulties  which  did  not 
exist  in  his  time,  or  of  which,  in  his  Mission  and 
in  his  Report,  he  was  not  called  upon  to  take 

In  the  second  place,  he  was  only  concerned  with 
British  communities,  or,  on  his  own  showing,  with 
communities  which  were  to  be  completely  angli- 
cized, and  which  already  had  some  measure  of 
British  institutions.  Thus,  one  half  of  the  British 
Empire  lay  entirely  outside  his  ken.  Now  let  us 
ask,  what  is  the  main  difference  between  the  British 
Empire  and  ah1  other  empires  that  the  world  has 
as  yet  known  ?  The  term  '  Empire ' 1  is  used,  in 

1  Sir  G.  Cornewall  Lewis  in  The  Government  of  Dependencies  (1891  ed.), 
pp.  73-4,  defined  '  Empire  '  as  follows  :  '  The  entire  territory  subject  to 
a  supreme  government  possessing  several  dependencies  (that  is  to  say, 
a  territory  formed  of  a  dominant  country  together  with  its  dependencies) 
is  sometimes  styled  an  Empire,  as  when  we  speak  of  the  British  Empire. 
Agreeably  with  this  acceptation  of  the  word  Empire,  the  supreme 
government  of  a  nation,  considered  with  reference  to  its  dependencies, 
is  called  the  Imperial  government,  and  the  English  parliament  is  called 
the  Imperial  Parliament,  as  distinguished  from  the  provincial  parlia- 
ment of  a  dependency.'  The  Roman  word  Imperium  had  no  special 
military  signification.  It  was,  as  Mommsen  points  out,  the  right  to 
command  the  citizens  in  all  matters  within  a  given  area  (see  Mommsen's 
History  of  Rome,  Book  II,  chap,  iii,  vol.  i,  p.  297  note). 

CHAP,  vn    THE  REPORT  AND  THE  EMPIRE        307 

default  of  a  better  term,  as  simply  equivalent  to 
a  people  or  collection  of  peoples  owing  allegiance 
to  some  one  common  head  or  central  authority. 
Some  prejudice,  modern  and  ill-founded,  has  arisen 
against  the  use  of  this  word,  as  implying  despotism 
and  military  rule.  It  seems  to  be  forgotten  that, 
in  the  days  of  King  Henry  VIII,  'Empire'  and 
'  Imperial  Crown '  connoted  the  Sovereign  inde- 
pendence of  England,  not  the  rule  of  England 
beyond  the  seas.1 

When  ancient  and  modern  political  systems  are 
compared,  we  are  told  that  the  main  differences 
between  them  are,  that  in  the  ancient  world  nothing 
was  known  of  representation  in  politics,  and  that 
slavery  was  an  integral  factor  in  every  com- 
munity. There  is  the  further  and  most  vital 
difference  that  the  ancients  had  no  knowledge 
of  steam  and  electricity.  Notwithstanding  these 
differences,  the  Roman  Empire,  which  by  common 
consent  was  by  far  the  greatest  political  creation 
of  the  Old  World,  is  usually  and  rightly  taken  as 
the  standard  with  which  to  compare  the  British 
Empire.  So  far  as  the  world's  history  has  gone, 
the  Romans  and  the  British  have  been  the  most 
successful  empire  builders  ;  the  two  peoples  have 
had  to  a  large  extent  the  same  qualities,  one  of 
the  notable  features  of  the  Romans  being  that, 
though  dwelling  in  Southern  Europe,  they  had 
rather  the  characteristics  of  a  northern  race.  Like 
the  Romans,  the  British  have  not  been  '  cursed 
with  the  passion  for  uniformity ' ; 2  and  Romans 

1  See  the  Oxford  English  Dictionary  s.v.  '  This  Realm  of  England 
is  an  Empire,'  24  Hen.  VIII,  cap.  12. 

2  Arnold's  Roman  Provincial  Administration,  2nd  ed.,  1906,  p.  22. 



and  British  alike  realized  to  the  full  how  essential 
to  making  and  keeping  an  empire  are  adequate 
means  of  communication.  Allowing  then  for  the 
differences  above  mentioned  as  being  the  result  of 
different  stages  of  civilization,  what  is  the  main 
distinction  to  be  drawn  between  this  Roman 
Empire,  which  of  all  empires  was  most  akin  to  our 
own,  and  the  British  Empire  of  the  present  day  ? 

The  Roman  Empire  seems  to  have  resembled 
the  Empire  of  Spain  in  America,  in  so  far  as  it 
was  created  by  conquest  and  held  by  despotism, 
while  including  in  the  conquered  provinces  a  large 
amount  of  colonization  from  the  motherland, 
which  made  the  dominant  feature  of  the  pro- 
vinces in  one  case  Roman x  and  in  the  other 
Spanish.  Neither  in  the  Roman  nor  in  the  Spanish 
American  Empire  was  there  any  distinction  be- 
tween the  areas  which  were  ruled  and  the  areas 
which  were  settled.  In  the  earlier  system  there 
were  Roman  colonies,  and  more  or  less  self-govern- 
ing municipia,  scattered  through  a  subject  world. 
In  the  later  system  there  was  no  part  of  Spanish 
America  which,  as  a  province  of  the  Spanish 
Empire,  differed  widely  in  kind  from  the  other 
parts.  Herein  is  the  great  distinction  between 
the  British  Empire  and  the  Roman  Empire,  and 
between  the  British  Empire  and  all  other  em- 
pires. In  the  British  Empire,  broadly  speaking, 
the  sphere  of  settlement  is  distinct  from  the  sphere 
of  rule.  The  British  Empire  includes  in  wholly 

1  This  statement  does  not  overlook  the  great  part  which  Greek 
language  and  civilization  played  to  the  Roman  Empire,  but  what  was 
dominant  am  opposed  to  subordinate  in  that  Empire  was  Roman. 

CHAP,  vii    THE  REPORT  AND  THE  EMPIRE        309 

different  areas  colonies  which  are  not  really  depen- 
dencies, and  dependencies  which  are  not  really 
colonies.  Nor,  as  regards  the  first  of  these  two 
categories,  has  any  European  people,  ancient  or 
modern,  on  anything  like  the  same  scale,  made 
other  parts  of  the  world  the  permanent  home  of  the 
colonizing  race,  without  intermixture  of  coloured 
races,  the  closest  parallels  being  the  case  of  the 
French  in  Canada,  and  in  a  lesser  degree,  of  the 
Dutch  in  South  Africa,  both  of  whom  are  now 
within  the  circle  of  the  British  Empire. 

The  great  cardinal  feature  of  the  British  Empire 
then  is  that  it  consists  of  two  wholly  different 
spheres,  the  sphere  of  rule  and  the  sphere  of  settle- 
ment, and  to  the  sphere  of  settlement  alone  Lord 
Durham's  Report  applies.  He  does  not  give  us 
any  guidance  as  to  the  great  problem  how  to  hold 
together  as  parts  of  one  political  system  peoples 
and  provinces,  at  present  at  a  distance  from  each 
other,  when  the  provinces  show  the  utmost  differ- 
ences in  climate,  when  the  peoples  differ  in  race, 
in  colour,  and  in  stages  of  development,  when  some 
provinces  are  and  must  be,  self-governing,  while 
others  are  despotically  governed. 

This  problem  lies  outside  the  scope  of  the  present 
Introduction ;  but,  with  reference  to  the  state- 
ment made  above  that  elimination  of  distance 
need  not  necessarily  make  for  greater  unity,  it  may 
be  noted  in  passing,  that  better  communication 
has  already  tended  to  accentuate  what  is  perhaps 
the  greatest  present-day  difficulty  of  the  British 
Empire — a  difficulty  which  does  not  appear  to  have 
existed  in  the  Roman  Empire — the  colour  question. 


Lord  Durham's  outlook  having  been  confined 
to  what  has  been  called  the  sphere  of  settlement, 
we  next  ask  how  far  in  that  sphere  were  the 
principles  which  he  laid  down,  and  the  reasoning 
which  he  employed,  of  general  application.  He 
prescribed,  in  the  first  place,  for  provinces  which 
already  had  been  given  representative  institutions. 
He  says  (ii.  278),  '  We  are  not  now  to  consider  the 
policy  of  establishing  representative  government 
in  the  North  American  colonies.  That  has  been 
irrevocably  done  ;  and  the  experiment  of  depriving 
the  people  of  their  present  constitutional  power 
is  not  to  be  thought  of.'  In  the  second  place,  he 
prescribed  more  especially  for  communities  which 
bordered  on  a  self-governing  nation  of  British  origin, 
though  the  government  of  that  country  was  not 
the  particular  form  of  self-government  which  he 
advocated  for  Canada.  In  the  third  place,  as  has 
been  abundantly  pointed  out,  he  postulated  as  a 
necessary  preliminary  to  self-government,  that  the 
community,  so  far  as  it  was  not  British,  should 
be  made  British,  that  every  foreign  element  in 
it  should  be  submerged.  Suppose  that  Canada, 
instead  of  adjoining  the  United  States,  had 
been,  like  Australia,  far  removed  from  American 
influence  and  example,  the  necessity  for  self- 
government  might  not  have  seemed  so  urgent. 
Suppose,  again,  that  the  Act  of  1791  had  not 
been  passed,  and  that  Canada,  when  Lord  Durham 
visited  it,  had  been  a  pure  Crown  Colony  without 
any  vestige  of  a  representative  institution ;  it  does 
not  follow  that  Lord  Durham  would  at  once 
have  prescribed  responsible  government.  Suppose, 

CHAP,  vn    THE  REPORT  AND  THE  EMPIRE       311 

once  more,  that  he  had  been  deprived  of  his  hypo- 
thesis that  the  French  Canadian  nationality  must 
be  obliterated,  or  that  he  had  been  sent  to  South 
Africa,  as  South  Africa  was  after  the  late  war, 
with  the  understanding  that  nothing  was  to  be 
done  to  undermine  the  Dutch  nationality,  then,  to 
judge  from  his  Report,  he  would  not  have  recom- 
mended responsible  government. 

It  is  of  course  a  vain  thing  to  ask  what  a  man 
would  have  said  or  done  many  years  after  his  death, 
in  altered  conditions  and  with  fuller  knowledge. 
A  broad-minded  man  moves  with  the  times,  and 
Lord  Durham  would  never  have  stood  still ;  but 
notwithstanding,  in  trying  to  answer  the  question 
how  far  the  principles  laid  down  in  his  Report 
were  or  are  applicable  to  the  whole  sphere  of 
settlement  in  the  British  Empire,  it  is  right  and 
useful  to  point  out  that  his  recommendations  were 
primarily  directed  to  the  case  of  a  particular  group 
of  provinces  in  a  certain  stage  of  development, 
and  with  special  surroundings,  and  that  beyond 
all  question,  he  looked  upon  responsible  govern- 
ment as  a  British  prescription  for  a  British  com- 
munity, and  not  as  a  recipe  for  non-British 

The  third  point  is,  that  this  colonial  self-govern- 
ment which  he  expounded  and  prescribed,  was, 
as  has  been  already  emphasized,  of  the  most  re- 
stricted chaxacter,  falling  very  far  short  of  colonial 
self-government  as  it  exists  at  the  present  day. 
It  must  be  repeated  that  Lord  Durham,  while 
making  the  reservations  which 'he  made,  as  being 
wise  and  reasonable  in  the  first  stages  of  self- 


government,  would,  in  the  light  of  later  know- 
ledge, probably  have  been  the  last  man  to  insist 
that  these  limits  were  unalterable  landmarks,  to 
be  upheld  throughout  the  centuries.  His  Report 
breathes  the  sane  and  human  spirit  of  growth  and 
development ;  and,  were  he  living  now,  he  would 
doubtless  rejoice  in  the  ever  broadening  freedom 
and  responsibility  which  has  been  obtained  by  the 
younger  peoples  of  the  Empire  in  their  adult  man- 
hood. If  we  do  not  make  this  assumption,  it  is 
clear  that  his  principles,  coupled  with  his  reserva- 
tions, have  proved  to  be  inadequate,  even  for  the 
cases  to  which  they  were  intended  to  be  applied. 
On  the  other  hand,  however,  if  we  do  make  it,  we 
must  recognize  that  colonial  self-government,  as  he 
prescribed  it,  was  merely  a  stage  in  a  process,  the 
end  of  which  is  not  yet  in  sight,  and  the  outcome 
of  which  may  or  may  not  be  one  form  or  another 
of  imperial  unity.  In  other  words,  if  we  give 
Lord  Durham  credit  for  marking  out  very  clearly 
and  definitely  the  direction,  with  full  intent  that 
the  road  should,  as  it  went  on,  perpetually  broaden 
out,  we  must  at  the  same  time  recognize  that  he 
had  at  best  not  found  a  solution,  but  only  a  way 
which  might  eventually  lead  to  a  solution. 

As  far  as  his  Report  shows,  he  intended  to  create 
a  nation,  but  a  nation  which  should  be  subordi- 
nate ;  whereas  the  result  of  his  Report — a  result 
which,  whatever  he  may  have  intended,  was  abso- 
lutely inevitable — was  to  begin  creating  nations 
which  should  not  be  subordinate.  It  was  an 
inevitable  result,  because  it  has  always  been  true 
of  British  colonists  as  of  Greek,  that,  so  far  as 

CHAP,  vn    THE  REPORT  AND  THE  EMPIRE       313 

they  were  in  either  case  free  men,  they  went  out 
on  the  principle  of  being  equal  instead  of  subordi- 
nate to  the  citizens  who  were  left  behind.  The 
problem,  as  he  left  it,  was  the  connexion  between 
two  self-governing  communities,  one  superior, 
and  the  other  subordinate.  The  problem,  as 
we  have  it,  is  the  connexion  between  one  older 
and  several  younger  self-governing  communities, 
which  are  on  or  are  approaching  the  position  of 
political  equality.  Judging  from  his  Report,  he 
seems  to  have  contemplated  that  a  nation  could 
be  created,  endowed  with  national  institutions, 
and  inspired  with  national  patriotism,  but  that 
bounds  could  be  placed  to  its  nationhood.  Time 
has  proved  that  this  was  a  fallacy ;  that  it  was 
not  possible  in  the  case  of  overseas  dominions, 
while  the  element  of  distance  survived,  and  while 
the  communities  in  question  were  growing  out  of 
infancy  to  the  adult  stage,  to  give  self-government 
but  assign  limits  to  the  self-government.  The 
only  limits  are  those  which  the  self-governing 
nation  may  itself  assign,  by  handing  over  some 
of  its  powers  to  a  federation.  Thus  the  critics 
of  responsible  government,  as  Lord  Durham  pro- 
pounded it,  had  much  to  say  for  themselves. 
They  contended  that  there  could  not  be  dual 
control ;  he  contended  that  there  could,  that 
a  division  of  authority  was  possible.  It  was  not 
possible  in  the  long  run.  The  grant  of  responsible 
government  was  the  beginning  of  the  end  of  sub- 
ordination, in  the  sense  of  the  mother  country 
eventually  retaining  any  substantial  power  over 
the  self-governing  communities  beyond  the  seas. 


So  far  as  such  power  has  been  retained  since  the 
time  when  responsible  government  was  granted, 
the  retention  has  been  due  not  to  any  definite 
division  of  authority,  such  as  Lord  Durham  con- 
templated, but  to  the  recognition  by  the  self- 
governing  communities  of  the  benefit  derived 
from  the  conditions  which  imply  control.  Security 
against  foreign  invasion  has  been  provided  by  the 
British  fleet,  enabling  the  younger  peoples  to  grow 
into  nations,  undisturbed  from  the  outside.  The 
home  people  of  the  Empire  has  in  the  main  paid 
the  foreign  bill  of  the  overseas  peoples,  and  further 
has  largely  supplied  the  capital  required  for  the 
peaceful  development  of  the  overseas  peoples. 
The  analogy  of  the  family  holds  for  peoples  as 
for  individuals.  The  younger  the  children  are,  the 
more  they  require  to  be  fostered  and  protected,  and 
the  more  they  are  controlled.  When  they  have  been 
started  in  the  world,  the  need  for  fostering  and 
protection  grows  less  and  less,  and  the  control 
diminishes  pari  passu.  Lord  Durham  may  have 
had  this  future  in  his  mind,  but  it  is  not  fore- 
shadowed in  his  Report.  In  that  Report  he  limited 
his  outlook  to  the  creation  of  subordinate  peoples, 
whereas  the  result  of  his  recommendation  has  been 
that  equal  nations  have  been  or  are  being  evolved. 
Lord  Durham's  view  of  what  has  been  called 
above  the  sphere  of  settlement  in  the  British 
Empire  would  apparently  have  corresponded  very 
nearly  with  the  view  put  forward  by  Burke  in  his 
speech  on  American  taxation.  '  The  Parliament 
of  Great  Britain  sits  at  the  head  of  her  extensive 
Empire  in  two  capacities,  one  as  the  local  legis- 

CHAP,  vii    THE  REPORT  AND  THE  EMPIRE        315 

lature  of  this  island.  .  .  .  The  other  and,  I  think, 
her  nobler  capacity  is  what  I  call  her  Imperial 
character,  in  which,  as  from  the  throne  of  Heaven, 
she  superintends  all  the  several  inferior  legislatures, 
and  guides  and  controls  them  all,  without  annihilat- 
ing any.  As  all  these  provincial  legislatures  are 
only  co-ordinate  to  each  other,  they  ought  all  to 
be  subordinate  to  her.'  Lord  Durham  might  prob- 
ably have  gone  further  than  Burke  in  the  measure 
of  emancipation  from  the  control  of  the  Imperial 
Parliament,  which  he  would  have  given  to  the 
colonies,  but  still  they  were  in  the  end  to  be  sub- 
ordinate members  of  the  Empire,  not  equal  part- 
ners. It  is  since  this  time,  but  dating  from  this 
time,  that  the  relation  of  partnership  has  little  by 
little  supplanted  that  of  supremacy  and  subordina- 
tion, leaving,  and  in  the  process  strengthening, 
the  link  of  common  allegiance  to  the  Crown. 

It  may  be  summed  up  then  that  a  close  analysis 
of  Lord  Durham's  Report  leads  to  the  conclusion 
that,  while  it  is  to  some  extent  a  general  treatise 
on  colonial  administration,  the  principles  embodied 
in  it  are  by  no  means  of  universal  application ; 
that  the  great  Liberal,  who  wrote  or  dictated 
the  Report,  was  not  a  preacher  of  self-govern- 
ment for  the  whole  world,  or  for  the  whole 
British  Empire,  or  for  coloured  races,  or  for  non- 
British  white  races,  or  even  for  British  peoples 
whatever  may  be  their  stage  of  development.  Nor 
was  he  by  any  means  a  preacher  of  unlimited 
self-government.  And  yet  it  is  impossible  to 
study  the  Report  without  feeling  that  such  a  state- 
ment of  its  limitations  does  it  less  than  justice. 


It  has  been  attempted  in  the  foregoing  pages  to 
lay  stress  upon  what  has  been  termed  Lord  Dur- 
ham's constructiveness.  To  all  times  and  to  all 
sorts  and  conditions  of  men  he  has  preached  the 
doctrine,  that  for  peoples,  as  for  individuals,  the 
one  thing  worth  living  for  is  to  make,  not  to 
destroy ;  to  build  up,  not  to  pull  down ;  to  unite 
small  disjointed  elements  into  a  single  whole ; 
to  reject  absolutely  and  always  the  doctrine  of 
Divide,  et  Impera,  because  it  is  a  sign  of  weakness, 
not  of  strength ;  to  be  strong  and  fear  not ;  to  speak 
unto  the  peoples  of  the  earth  that  they  go  for- 
ward. In  this  constructiveness,  which  is  embodied 
in  all  parts  of  the  Report,  he  has  beyond  any  other 
man  illustrated  in  writing  the  genius  of  the  English 
race,  the  element  which  in  the  British  Empire  is 
common  alike  to  the  sphere  of  settlement  and  to 
the  sphere  of  rule.  It  is  as  a  race  of  makers  that 
the  English  will  live  to  all  time,  and  it  is  as  a  pro- 
phet of  a  race  of  makers  that  Lord  Durham  lives. 
Of  Canada  he  wrote  (ii.  310) : 

'  If  in  the  hidden  decrees  of  that  wisdom  by 
which  this  world  is  ruled,  it  is  written  that  these 
countries  are  not  for  ever  to  remain  portions  of 
the  Empire,  we  owe  it  to  our  honour  to  take  good 
care  that,  when  they  separate  from  us,  they  should 
not  be  the  only  countries  on  the  American  con- 
tinent in  which  the  Anglo-Saxon  race  shall  be 
found  unfit  to  govern  itself.' 

These  words  apply  beyond  Canada  and  beyond 
America.  The  spirit  of  them  transcends  the  sphere 
of  settlement,  it  is  the  living  force  of  the  whole 
British  Empire.  The  words  are  the  message  of  a 

CHAP,  vn    THE  REPORT  AND  THE  EMPIRE        317 

great  Englishman  to  his  fellow  countrymen,  that 
the  one  thing  needful  is  to  leave  behind  a  legacy 
of  what  is  permanently  sound  and  great.  If 
England  continues  to  be  inspired  by  what  Lord 
Durham  taught  so  well,  then  as  Great  Britain  has 
grown  into  Greater  Britain,  so  Greater  Britain  will 
grow  into  Greatest  Britain,  to  the  glory  of  God 
the  Creator,  and  to  the  well-being  of  mankind. 




THERE  is  no  great  profit  in  speculating  as  to 
what  view  a  man  long  dead  would  have  taken 
of  a  political  question  of  the  present  day.  But 
colonial  self-government  dates  from  Lord  Dur- 
ham's Report,  and  reference  has  been  and  may 
again  be  made  to  the  Report  in  connexion  with 
proposals  for  Home  Rule  in  Ireland.  It  may 
therefore  be  of  use,  without  in  any  way  discussing 
the  merits  either  of  Lord  Durham's  views  or  of 
Home  Rule,  to  note  very  briefly  how  far  there 
is  any  analogy  between  the  case  of  Canada  in 
Lord  Durham's  time,  and  that  of  Ireland  to-day, 
and  wrhat  bearing  the  doctrines  embodied  in  the 
Report  seem  to  have  upon  the  Home  Rule  question. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  Lord  Durham  was 
one  of  the  leaders,  if  not  the  leader,  of  the  Radical 
wing  of  the  Liberal  party  of  his  day,  and  also  that 
he  was  a  cotemporary  of  O'Connell,  though  he  died 
before  the  great  agitation  for  the  Repeal  of  the 
Union.  Further,  the  fact  that  in  the  previous 
twenty  years  there  had  been  a  large  Irish  im- 
migration into  Canada,  and  that  in  the  recent 
disturbances  in  Canada  the  Irish  had  in  the  main 
ranged  themselves  with  the  other  British  loyalists 
on  the  side  of  the  Government,  in  spite  of  aggres- 


sive  Orangeism  in  Upper  Canada,  may  well  have 
kept  Ireland  and  the  Irish  prominently  in  his 
mind.  But  notwithstanding,  he  does  not  seem  to 
quote  Ireland  for  the  purpose  of  comparison  or 
contrast  with  Canada,  except  in  the  passage  with 
the  marginal  note, '  The  French,  when  in  a  legiti- 
mate minority,  would  abandon  vain  hopes  of 
nationality,'  in  which  passage  he  says,  '  The 
experience  of  the  two  Unions  in  the  British  Isles 
may  teach  us  how  effectually  the  strong  arm  of 
a  popular  legislature  would  compel  the  obedience 
of  the  refractory  population  '  (vol.  ii,  p.  308).  We 
may  therefore  take  it  that  Lord  Durham  himself 
did  not  find  much  analogy  between  Canada,  as 
it  was  in  his  day,  and  Ireland. 

If  we  are  to  find  any  analogy,  it  must  obviously 
be  found  in  Lower  Canada — the  French  Province, 
not  in  Upper  Canada,  the  more  or  less  homo- 
geneous British  Province.  Lower  Canada  con- 
tained an  overwhelming  majority  of  Roman 
Catholic  French  Canadians,  and  a  British  Protes- 
tant minority,  of  strong  and  enterprising  character, 
considerable  in  the  commercial  centres  of  Quebec 
and  Montreal,  and  wholly  predominant  in  one 
corner  of  the  Province,  the  Eastern  Townships. 
To  this  extent  it  rather  closely  resembled  Ireland. 
The  French  Canadians  had  been  led  by  Papineau, 
who  was  considered  the  O'Connell  of  Canada  :  the 
extremists  among  them  talked  of  La  Nation 
Canadienne,  a  Canadian  Republic  and  so  forth 
(ii.  58,  &c.)  ;  in  short,  the  feeling,  exasperated  by 
the  recent  rising,  was  roughly  parallel  to  Irish  feel- 
ing after  one  or  other  of  the  periodical  disturbances 

320          LORD  DURHAM'S  REPORT  AND    APPEND. 

in  Ireland,  and  may  be  said  to  have  combined 
some  active  and  pronounced,  with  much  more 
passive,  disloyalty. 

So  far  there  is  some  similarity  between  the  case 
of  Lower  Canada  in  Lord  Durham's  time,  and 
Ireland  both  then  and  now.     On  the  other  hand, 
the  points  of  difference  are  many — among  them 
the  following  :    (i)  The  time  when  Lord  Durham 
went  out  and  reported  was  an  abnormal  time, 
a  time  of  crisis.    There  had  been  an  armed  rising, 
trivial,  it  is  true,  but  still  an  open  insurrection, 
not  in  Lower  Canada  only,  but  in  Upper  Canada 
also  ;   and  there  had  been  general  political  discon- 
tent from   want   of   self-government   in   all   the 
British   North   American   provinces.      In   Lower 
Canada  the  constitution  had  in  consequence  been 
entirely  suspended,     (ii)  The  scene  of  his  mission, 
and  the  object  of  his  recommendations,  was  a 
group  of  communities,  not  close  to  but  distant  from 
England,    (iii)  This  group  of  communities  bordered 
on  a  great  self-governing  community  of  British 
speech  and  descent — the  United  States,     (iv)  The 
communities  in   question  had  not  at  the  time, 
and  never  had  enjoyed  so  far  in  their  history,  full 
Parliamentary  liberties,  in  the  sense  in  which  such 
liberties  are  understood  in  the  United  Kingdom. 
(v)  The  trouble  in  Lower  Canada  was,  at  any  rate 
in  Lord  Durham's  opinion,  a  trouble  of  animosity 
between  a  British  and  a  non-British  race,  aggra- 
vated, but  not  caused  primarily,  by  defects  in  the 
constitution,  and  not  aggravated  by  difference  of 
religion,  religious  toleration  being  conspicuous  in 
Lower  Canada. 


So  much  for  the  parallel  between  Lower  Canada 
and  Ireland.  Now  let  us  take  the  views  embodied 
in  the  Report.  In  the  Introduction  to  which  this 
note  is  appended,  it  has  been  attempted  to  correct 
the  common  view  of  the  Report,  which  eulogizes 
it — quite  rightly — for  recommending  responsible 
government,  but  does  not  stop  to  consider  the 
limits  which  Lord  Durham  set  to  responsible 
government,  and  the  conditions  under  which 
alone  he  was  prepared  to  concede  it.  Much  might 
be  said — as  bearing  on  the  Irish  question — of  the 
limits  which  he  placed  to  self-government ;  but  it 
will  be  enough  to  note  the  conditions  under  which, 
and  only  under  which,  he  was  prepared  to  grant 
it.  It  may  be  added  that  the  Report  is  entirely 
misinterpreted  by  those  who  fail  or  refuse  to  see 
that  Lord  Durham  was  quite  ready  to  apply 
what  would  now  be  called  Coercion,  in  order  to 
secure  what  he  considered  to  be  the  greatest  happi- 
ness of  the  greatest  number  ;  and  that  he  had  no 
intention  of  giving  to  people  something  that  in 
his  opinion  would  not  be  for  their  permanent  good, 
simply  because  they  asked  for  it. 

Lord  Durham,  as  an  advanced  Liberal,  went 
out  to  Canada,  holding  that  the  panacea  for  all 
the  evils  in  British  North  America  was  constitu- 
tional reform,  in  other  words  self-government. 
He  reasoned,  with  irresistible  force,  that  there 
was  a  common  source  of  discontent  in  these 
communities,  in  that  being  composed  of  British 
citizens,  or  rather  white  British  subjects,  who  were 
already  accustomed  to  some  form  of  representative 
institutions,  they  were  not  entrusted  with  the 

1352-1  Y 


full  management  of  their  own  local  affairs,  but  were 
kept  under  a  distant  and  therefore,  in  his  opinion, 
a  misgoverning  authority ;  that  it  was  specially 
dangerous  not  to  give  them  self-government, 
because  the  self-governing  United  States  was 
immediately  under  their  eyes,  and  exercising  a 
powerful  attraction ;  and  moreover,  that  American 
public  opinion  would  be  conciliated  by  the  grant 
of  self-government  to  Canada,  just  as  American 
sympathy  with  Home  Rule  for  Ireland  is  taken 
into  account  nowadays. 

But  when  he  reached  Canada,  and  found  that 
the  evil  in  the  Province  of  Quebec  was  more  than 
a  constitutional  question,  and  that  its  root  was 
in  race,  not  only  did  he  not  prescribe  self-govern- 
ment for  Lower  Canada  as  it  then  stood,  but 
(i)  he  blamed  the  Imperial  Government  for  ever 
having  given  any  semblance  of  separate  treatment 
to  the  French  Canadians.  '  Unhappily,  the  sys- 
tem of  government  pursued  in  Lower  Canada  has 
been  based  on  the  policy  of  perpetuating  that  very 
separation  of  the  races,  and  encouraging  these 
very  notions  of  conflicting  nationalities,  which  it 
ought  to  have  been  the  first  and  chief  care  of 
Government  to  check  and  extinguish '  (ii.  63)  ; 
and  (ii)  he  laid  down  that  '  the  fatal  feud  of  origin, 
which  is  the  cause  of  the  most  extensive  mischief, 
would  be  aggravated  at  the  present  moment  by 
any  change,  which  should  give  the  majority  more 
power  than  they  have  hitherto  possessed  '  (ii.  288). 

What  then  was  his  prescription  for  Lower 
Canada  ?  Not  that  it  should  be  debarred  from 
self-government,  nor  that  the  French  majority 


should  be  placed  under  the  loyal  English  minority 
in  the  Province — '  I  certainly  should  not  like  to 
subject  the  French  Canadians  to  the  rule  of  the 
identical  English  minority  with  which  they  have 
so  long  been  contending  '  (ii.  308) — but  that  it 
should  be  an  absolutely  necessary  preliminary  to 
giving  self-government  to  the  Province  of  Quebec, 
that  that  province  should  be  fused — not  federated 
—with  the  neighbouring  province,  in  order  that 
the  disloyal  French  Canadians  might  be  out- 
voted and  swamped  by  and  wholly  merged  in  a 
loyal  British  majority,  in  order  that  the  national 
character  to  be  given  to  French  Canada  should 
be  '  that  of  the  British  Empire,  that  of  the  majority 
of  the  population  of  British  America '  (ii.  288). 
He  did  not  look  to  self-government  by  itself  to 
cure  disloyalty  in  Lower  Canada.  On  the  con- 
trary, he  made  it  a  sine  qua  non  of  giving  self- 
government  to  the  French  Canadians  that  the 
majority  should  be  British,  which,  in  spite  of  the 
rising  in  Upper  Canada,  was  tantamount  to  being 
loyal.  Nor  did  he  regard  it  as  a  negation  of  self- 
government  that  the  French  Canadians  should 
always  be  outvoted.  Further,  he  viewed  the  total 
incorporation  of  a  small  community  in  a  bigger  one 
as  a  gain  to  the  small  community,  and  where  there 
was  a  doubt  as  to  the  advisability  of  granting  self- 
government  under  existing  conditions,  he  recom- 
mended absorption  in  a  larger  body.  Thus  he 
writes  of  Newfoundland,  '  If  it  be  true  that  there 
exists  in  this  island  a  state  of  society,  which  renders 
it  unadvisable  that  the  whole  of  the  local  govern- 
ment should  be  entirely  left  to  the  inhabitants, 



I  believe  that  it  would  be  much  better  to  incor- 
porate this  colony  with  a  larger  community,  than  to 
attempt  to  continue  the  present  experiment  of 
governing  it  by  a  constant  collision  of  constitu- 
tional powers  '  (ii.  202). 

Lord  Durham,  then,  recommended  self-govern- 
ment for  Lower  Canada,  but  not  Home  Rule  ;  and, 
if  any  inference  can  be  drawn  from  his  Report 
with  regard  to  Ireland,  it  would  seem  that  he  not 
only  would  not  have  recommended  Home  Rule 
for  Ireland,  but  would  have  contended  that  it 
has  self-government  already,  and  that  it  was 
a  mistake  ever  to  have  given  it  any  shred  of 
separate  treatment,  such  as  a  fixed  number 
of  members  in  the  Parliament  of  the  United 


Aberdeen,  Lord,  62,  64. 
Abolition  of  Slavery,  see  Slavery. 
Abolition  of  Transportation,  see 

Acts,  Principal,  referred  to  : 
(1)  Imperial 

(a)  Relating  to  Canada  : 
Quebec  Act  of  1774,  29,  56, 

58,   165,  220  and  note   1, 

223-4,  224  note. 
Quebec  Revenue  Act  of  1774, 

29,  40,  60,  70,  76. 
Constitutional  Act  of  1791, 

31,  53,  78,  84,  101-2,  138, 

159,  160,  162-3,  220,  221, 

227-8,  233,  254,  278,  279, 

291,  292,  296,  310. 
Canada  Trade  Act  of  1822,  33, 

45,  47,  55,  67,  161. 
Tenures  Act  of  1825, 161, 172. 
Revenue  Control  Act  of  1831, 

60,  70,  71,  76. 
Constitutional  Act  Suspension 

Act  of   1838  (Government 

of  Lower  Canada),  101-3, 

110,  111,  112,  168  note. 
Union  Act  of  1840,  221  and 

note,  288-9,  291,  292,  293, 

294,  295,  296. 
Civil  List  Act  of  1847,  292  and 

note,  293. 
Crown  Revenues  Act  of  1852, 

185,  293. 
British  North  America  Act  of 

1867,   166,  204,  231,  252, 

253,  284,  289,  292,  293  and 

note  1,  298,  301. 
Clergy  Reserves  Acts,  163  and 

note,  294,  295  and  note, 

296  and  note. 
Passengers     and     Merchant 

Shipping   Acts,    188,    191, 

192,  300. 

(b)  General : 

Reform  Act  of  1832,  18. 

Poor  Law  Amendment  Act  of 

1834,  18,  198. 
South  Australian  Act  of  1834, 

156,  158. 

Municipal  Corporations  Act  of 
1835, 18, 151  and  note,  214. 
Civil  List  Acts,  185. 
Test   and  Corporation   Acts 
Repeal,  19. 

(2)  Canadian 
Medical  Relief  of  Emigrants 

Act  of  1832,  195. 
Quarantine  Act  of  1832, 194. 
Sulpician   Seminary   Act    of 

1839,  168. 
Public   Lands   Act   of   1841, 

294  note. 
Civil  List  Act  of  1846,  292, 


Abolition  of  Feudal  Rights  in 
Lower  Canada,  Act  of  1854, 
168  note,  297. 
Seigniorial  Amendment   Act 

of  1859,  168  note. 
Clergy   Reserves   Acts,    165, 

295,  296. 

Jesuits'  Estates  Acts,  166. 
Municipal  Corporations  Acts, 

212,  298  and  note,  300. 
Advisory  Committee,  proposed  by 

LordGlenelg,  110-12. 
America  and  Americans,  see  United 


Amherst,  Lord,  64,  166. 
Anti-Corn  Law  Association,  20. 
Anti-Corn  Law  League,  20. 
Appeals,  Judicial,   see  Law  and 


Arnold,    Roman   Provincial   Ad- 
ministration quoted,  307. 
Arthur,  Sir  George,  81,  100,  118. 
Ashburton,  Lord,  123. 
Assembly,  Houses  of,  29,  31,  33, 

34,  132,  277,  287,  &c. 
Lower  Canada,  35,  36,  38-52, 



54,  56-72,  74,  77,  111,  112, 
128,  139,  143,  150,  161,  183, 
211,  212,  217,  233,  236. 
Upper  Canada,  7  and  note,  54, 
69,  70,  77,  79,  80,  118,  119, 
143,  262,  267. 
United  Canada,  288-90. 
New  Brunswick,  82. 
Newfoundland,  86-8. 
Nova  Scotia,  81. 
Prince  Edward  Island,  85,  86. 
Australia,  12-14,  146,  152  note, 
178,   182,  193,   196,  197,  252, 
264,  273,  291,  310. 
Australia,  South,  see  South  Aus- 
Australia,  Western,  see  Western 


Aylmer,  Lord,  57,  58,  59,  64,  65, 

Baie  Verte,  see  Canals. 
Baldwin,  Robert,  75,  79,  97,  98. 
Barbados,  11. 
Bathurst,  Lord,  38,  41,  43  note, 

49-52,  266. 

Beauharnois  Canal,  see  Canals. 
Beauharnois  Seigniory,  161. 
Bidwell,  Barnabas,  55. 
Bidwell,  Marshall  Spring,  55,  69, 

70,  75,  80,  81,  97. 
Board  of  Trade,  see  Trade. 
Boulton,  75,  76,  87,  88. 
Britannia,  the,  16. 
British  American  Land  Company, 

61,  66,  67,  73,  171-2. 
British  Columbia,  204. 
British  in  Canada,  24,  26,  27,  29, 
31,  34,  63,  65,  66,  89,  126,  128, 
129, 130, 136, 138, 148, 172, 227, 
241, 248, 259, 260, 282, 284,  310, 
316,  et  passim. 

British  North  America,  11,  65,  71, 

75,  84,  86,  105,  106,  107,  108, 

109,  114,  115,  121,  122,  123, 

128,  131,  137,  138,  146,  153, 

154,  182,  185,  188,  201,  221, 

244,  256,  266,  277,  279,  280, 

289,  298,  303,  310,  et  passim. 

Union  of,  32, 121, 126, 132, 148- 

9,  217,  247-57,  261,  266,  289. 

Brougham,  Lord,  103,  123. 

Brown,  Thomas  Storrow,  89,  91, 

92,  93,  94. 

Bryce,  Mr.,  quoted,  139-40  note. 
Buller,    Arthur,    his    Report    on 

Education    in   Lower  Canada, 

232,  233,  234-44,  247. 
Buller,  Charles,  3-5, 12,  21-3, 112, 

117,  131,  160,  161,  175,  178, 
179,  180,  189,  195,  197,  200, 
210-11,  213,  222,  231   note, 
235,  248,  261,  266,  267,  268, 

his  Public  Lands  Inquiry  and 
Report,  108  note,  114,  115, 
121,  153,  156,  157,  168  and 
note,  169-70,  173,  175-82, 
185-6,  189  note,  190  note, 
191,  193,  195  note. 

Bureaucracy,  23,  75. 

Burke,  Edmund,  305,  314-16. 

Burton,  Sir  Francis,  48,  50. 

By,  Colonel,  203,  208. 

Campbell,  Sir  Archibald,  82,  83. 

Campbell,  Sir  Colin,  85. 

Canada,  6,  26-30,  42,  104,  109, 

118,  125,  148,  151,  156,  174, 
181,  192,  199-206,  208,  227, 
257,   273,   278,    287-8,   291, 
296-7,     302,     310,     316,     et 

Canadas,  Reunion  of,  44-7, 124- 

36,  148,  247-50,  287-9. 
Canada,  Lower,  History  of,  31- 

53,  55-75,  88-96,  100-3. 
Canada,    Upper,    History    of, 

31-5,    37,   44,   53-5,    75-81, 


See  also  under  other  heads. 
Canada  Company,  169-71. 
Canadian    Pacific    Railway,    see 

Canadien,  Le,  35. 
Canals,  178,  198,  199,  203-9,  264, 

Bay  of  Fundy  and  Baie  Verte, 


Beauharnois,  206. 
Chambly,  207. 
Cornwall,  207. 
Erie,  209,  264. 
Georgian  Bay,  199-200. 
Lachine,  206. 
Military,  203-4,  206. 
Rideau,  203,  207-8. 
Welland,  199,  207. 



Canning,  19,  52. 

Canterbury,  Viscount,  64. 

Cape   Colony,    13,   21,  146,   178, 


Carignan-Salieres  Regiment,  174. 
Carleton,  28, 33, 165-6, 227, 242-3, 

254  and  note,  281-2. 
Carlyle,  3,  131,  235. 
Caroline,  the,  99,  258. 
Cascades,  The,  206. 
Casual  and  Territorial  Revenues, 

see  Crown  Revenues. 
Catholic  emancipation,  19,  239. 
Cedars,  The,  206. 
Chambly,  92. 

Chambly  Canal,  see  Canals. 
Champlain,  Lake,  14-15,  207. 
Chartrand,  94-5,  229  and  note. 
Chenier,  95,  97. 

Chief  Justice,  see  Law  and  Justice. 
Cholera,  194  and  note  2. 
Church  of  England,  4,  75,  78-9, 

163,  164,  228,  245,  246-7,  and 

see  Clergy. 
Church  of  Scotland,  see  Clergy, 


Civil  List,  39,  40,  41,  43,  52,  58 - 
61,  66,  70,  73,  76,  83,  105, 
149,  150,  151,  183,  186,  187, 
Clergy : 

(i)  Anglican,  165,  239,  246. 

(ii)  Presbyterian,  78,  239,  247, 

(iii)  Roman  Catholic,  28,  34, 
88-9,  96,  234,  239,  240, 

Clergy  Reserves,  see  Lands. 
Cobden,  Richard,  2,  20. 
Coburg,  213,  247. 
Colbert,  174. 
Colborne,  Sir  John,  55,  73,  75,  77- 

9,  89,  91,  92,  95,  96,  100,  103, 

163-4,  168,  244. 

Colonial  Administration,  see  Colo- 
nial Office. 

Colonial  Advocate,  the,  55. 
Colonial  Office,  3,  20-3,  52,  62, 
124,  157,  178,  179,  188,  191, 
243,  266-75. 

advantages  of,  268-70,  275. 

criticisms  of,  21,  266-8,  270-3. 

position  of  Secretary  of  State. 

Colonies,   relations   with   mother 

country,  115,  120,  143,  149-50, 

155,  285,  312-15. 
Colonization    Schemes,    14,    115, 

155-7,    158,    179,    180,    181-2, 

197,  299. 

Coloured  races,  see  Native  Ques- 
Commission,    Parliamentary,    on 

Electoral  Divisions,  148-9. 
Communications,   8,   14-15,    123, 

179,  180,  198-210,  211,  304-5, 

305  note,  308-9. 
Confederated  Counties,  90-1. 
Constitution,    British,    139,    142 

note,  144. 
Cornwall,  213. 
Cornwall  Canal,  see  Canals. 
Coteau  du  Lac,  206. 
Councils  : 

(i)  Special  Council  of  Lower 
Canada,  102-3,  110,  168 
and  note,  298. 

(ii)  Executive,  56,  225. 

(a)  Lower  Canada,  65,  66,  67, 

70,  71,  73,  143,  144-5,  226, 

(&)  Upper  Canada,  54,  79-80. 

(c)  New  Brunswick,    81,  82, 

(d)  Newfoundland,  87-8. 

(e)  Nova  Scotia,  81,  82,  84. 
(/)  Prince  Edward  Island,  85, 

(iii)  Legislative,  29,  31,  33,  56, 

151,  225,  227  and  note, 
(a)  Lower  Canada,  39,  41,  43, 
48,  59,  62,  65,  66,  67,  69, 

71,  72,  73,  128,   161,  226, 

(6)  Upper    Canada,    54,    77, 

(c)  United  Canada,  288, 291-2. 

(d)  New  Brunswick,  81,  82, 

(e)  Newfoundland,  87-8. 
(/)  Nova  Scotia,  81,  82,  84. 
(g)  Prince    Edward    Island, 


Courts,  see  Law  and  Justice. 
Cousin,  Victor,  237. 
Craig,  Sir  James,  35-6,  57,  127, 

167,  225. 
Cromer,  Lord,  quoted,  135  note. 



Crown,  the,  66,  143,  144,  145,  147, 
148, 149, 151, 152, 166, 219, 227, 
234,  245,  246, 275,  291, 292,  294 

Crown  Colonies,  11,  23,  225,  266, 
267,  268,  270,  273,  274,  310. 

Crown  Patronage,  66,  67-8,  77. 

Crown  Reserves,  see  Lands. 

Crown  Revenues,  40,  47,  52,  54, 
56,  58-61, 66,  70,  73, 149, 182-8, 

Cunard,  16. 

Dalhousie,  Earl  of,  42,  43,  47,  48, 
49,  50,  51,  52,  56,  57,  85,  109, 

Davidson,  John,  160,  183  note. 
Davignon,  91. 
Demaray,  91. 
Derby,     Earl    of,    see     Stanley, 


Detroit,  96,  99. 
Dicey,  Professor,  quoted,  139  and 

note  2. 

Doratt,  Sir  John,  194  note  2. 
Dorchester,  see  Carleton. 
Doric  Club,  91. 

Droit  de  Quint,  183  note,  184. 
Duncombe,  Dr.,  97,  98. 
Dunkin,  153,  167,  236. 
D'Urban,  Sir  Benjamin,  13,  21. 
his  life,  1-2. 

his  character  and  ability,  2,  6-8, 
119-20,  131-2,  214,  256,  276, 
316,  etc. 
as  a  Liberal,  2,   128-30,   138, 

141,214,215,282,  315. 
as   an  Imperialist,    2,    119-23, 
130,   141,   149-50,   151,   155, 
180,  198,  214,  215,  217,  256, 
282,  285. 
as    a    constructive   statesman, 

121-3,  216-17,  316. 
his   views  before  his   mission, 

his  views  on : 

French  Colonization,  24,  25. 
Nationality,     116,     129-34, 

281-4,  289,  311. 
Public  Lands,  153-5,  165-8, 

176-80,  186-8. 

Emigration,    189    and    note, 
196-8,  299. 

Education,  232,  234,  235, 

Union  of  two  Canadas,  124, 
129-33, 148,  247-50,  287-8. 

Union  of  British  North 
America,  132,  148-9,  210, 
247-57,  261,  266,  289. 

Administration  of  Justice, 
223-5,  229-31. 

Means  of  Communication, 
15-16,  201,  204-5,  208-10, 

Colonial  Office  Administra- 
tion, 266,267, 270-3,279-80. 

Representative  Institutions 
and  Responsible  Govern- 
ment, 125,  130,  136-42, 
146-52,  252-3,  283-7,  289, 

Municipal  Government,  210- 

United  States,  258-66. 
his    Commission    and    Instruc- 
tions, 106-10,  112,  113. 

Resignation,  211,  235. 

Death,  301. 
value  of  his  work,  301-2,  315- 


Dutch  in  New  York,  264,  283. 
Dutch  in  South  Africa,  136,  283, 
309,  311. 

Education  : 

(i)  In  Lower  Canada,  67,  166-7, 
232-44,  264,  300-1,  and  see 
Buller,  Arthur, 
(ii)  In  Upper  Canada,  75, 244-7, 

295,  301. 

Egremont,  Lord,  193. 
Elgin,  eighth  Earl  of,  1,  142  note, 

283,  289,  291. 
Elgin,  ninth  Earl  of,  1. 
Elizabeth  College,  244. 
Ellice,  'Bear,'  4,  7,  45,  46,  112, 

161,  297. 

Ellice,  the  Younger,  4. 
Elliot,  Sir  T.  F.,  65,  71,  189-90, 

190  note,  191,  196,  273. 
Emigrants'     Information     Office, 

Emigration : 

from  United  Kingdom  to 
Canada,  156-8,  172,  174,  177- 
82,  188-98,  279,  299-300. 



from  United  Kingdom  to  United 
States,  190. 

abuses  of,  189,  193-6. 

Committees  and  Commission  on, 

control  of,  178-9, 188-92, 196-8. 

See    also    Lands,    Quarantine, 

Colonization  Schemes,  &o. 
Empire,  British,  5,  7,  10,  30,  120, 

121, 123, 202, 222, 254,  255,  273, 

275,  277,  285,  303,  305-9,  305 

note,  306  note,  311,  312,  314, 

315,  &c. 

Erie  Canal,  see  Canals. 
Executive,   Parliamentary,   Prin- 
ciple of,  139  note  2,  141,  142, 

Executives : 

Lower  Canada,  42,  44,  56,  139.     ! 

Upper  Canada,  143. 

United  Canada,  149,  249. 

Relations     with     Legislatures, 
33-4,    36,    137,  139,    142-5, 
148,  290-1,  and  see  Councils. 
Executive  Council,  see  Councils. 

Family  Compact,  54,  75,  164,  247. 

Federal  Legislature,  see  Legisla- 

Federation,  132-3,248-55,287,313.    \ 

Feudal  Tenures,  see  Lands  and 

Filmore,  President,  142  note. 

Fils  de  Liberte,  91. 

Finances,  control  of,  149,  293,  &c. 

in  Lower  Canada,  38-44,  47,  48, 

49,  51,  55-61,  65-6,  71,  73, 

104-5,  182-3,  184. 

in  Upper  Canada,  54,  60, 76, 182. 

Financial  relations  between  Upper 
and  Lower  Canada,  44, 45, 54, 67. 
See  also  Civil  List,  Money  Votes, 

Finlay,  Hugh,  233,  234  note. 

Fisheries  Disputes,  257,  258. 

Fitzgibbon,  Colonel,  97,  98. 

Fitzroy,  Sir  Charles,  85-6. 

Foreign  Relations,  149-50,  285. 

Forges   of   St.    Maurice,   see   St.   i 

Free  Trade,  19,  20,  198,  286. 

French  Canadians,  24,  25,  27,  28, 
31,  32,  34,  42,  46,  54,  61,  62, 
63,  64,  67-8,  88,  89,  91,  95,  96,  j 

103, 116, 118, 121, 124, 125, 128, 
129, 130, 131, 151, 159, 161, 172, 
175, 195,  214,  215, 225, 239, 240, 
241, 243, 248,  250,  259,  260, 265, 
277,  279,  280,  281-4,  309,  etc. 

Gait,  John,  170. 
George  III,  41,  166. 
George  IV,  76. 

Georgian  Bay  Canal,  see  Canals. 
Gipps,  Sir  George,  65,  70,  71. 
Girod,  95-6. 

Glenelg,  Lord,  13, 19,  20-2,  62,  64, 
67,  68,  69,  73,  77,  78,  80,  83, 
84,  85-6,  87,  100,  101,  158, 
162  and  note,  186,  231  and 
note,  232-3,  251  and  note, 

his  Instructions  to  Lord  Dur- 
ham, 5,   106,  109,  112,  113, 
132  and  note,  147. 
his  Instructions  to  Royal  Com- 
missioners, 65-7,  69,  71,  72. 
his  Instructions  to  Sir  F.  Bond 

Head,  142-3. 

Glengarry  Highlanders,  89,  245. 
Goderich,  Lord,  19,  52,  53,  58,  59, 
61,  68,  79,  81,  86  note,  87,  88, 
164,  166,  167,  190,  226. 
Gore,  Colonel,  92-5. 
Gosford,  Earl  of,  65,  67,  69,  70,  71, 
72,  74,  77,  83,  88,  89,  90,  100, 
162  and  note,    167,    168,    185 
note,  186,  232,  233  note,  235, 

Gourlay,  Robert,  53. 
Government,    Imperial,    see    Im- 
perial Government. 
Greek  Colonists,  312-13. 
Grey,  Colonel,  258. 
Grey,  first  Earl,  1,  2,  17,  142  note. 
Grey,  second  Earl,  191. 
Grey,  Sir  Charles,  65,  70,  71. 
Grey,    Sir   George,    12,    22    and 

note  1. 
Grosse  Isle,  194  and  note  2. 

Haldimand,  General,  206. 
Halifax,    16,    83,    90,    201,    204, 


Hamilton,  213. 
Hanson,  4,  153,  164. 
Harvey,  Sir  John,  83. 
Head,  Sir  Francis  Bond,  22,  69, 



77-81,  83,  90,  96,  97,  98,  100, 

Hereditary  Legislators,  227-8. 
House  of  Commons,  7,  18,  39,  41, 

60,  137,  139  note  2,  157,  158, 

159,  174  note,  221,  248,  267, 

274,  279,  288,  297,  &c. 
Committees  on  Emigration,  190. 
Resolutions  of  March  1837, 72-3, 

143, 144. 
Select  Committee   of    Inquiry 

into    Civil    Government    of 

Canada  in  1828,  53,  55,  56, 

57,  62,  63,  75,  82,  160  note, 

Select  Committee    of     Inquiry 

into    Civil    Government    of 

Lower  Canada  in  1834,  62-3. 
House  of  Commons  Papers,  117. 
July   1831,  No.   102.     Canada 

Crown  Revenues,  40  note,  183 

March  1832,  No.  334.     Canada 

Waste  Lands,  174  and  note, 

188  and  note. 
March    1836,  No.    113.     Copy 

of  the  Instructions  given  to 

the  Earl  of  Gosford,  etc.,  68 

note,  143  note,  162  note,  233 

February  1837,  No.  50.      Lower 

Canada,  185  note,  235  note, 

237  note. 

May  1838,  No.    388.     Emigra- 
tion,   190    note,    191     note, 

February  1839,  No.  2.     British 

North  America,  231, 258  note, 

June  1839,  No.  117.     Canadian 

Affairs,   119  note,  263  note, 

276  note. 
August  1839,  No.  579.     Nova 

Scotia,  &c.,  82  note,  84  note, 

86  note,  87  note. 
1840.   Affairs  of  Canada,  Part  I, 

299  note  1. 
February  1840,  No.  35.  Colonial 

Lands  Board,  294  note,  299 

March  1840,  No.  147.    Copies  of 

Extracts  of  Correspondence 

relative   to   the  Reunion  of 

the  Provinces  of  Lower  and 

Upper  Canada,  213  note,  218 

August  1871,  C.  459.     Cape  of 

Good  Hope,  146  note  2. 
House  of  Lords,   102,   123,   151, 

227  and  note. 
Howe,  Joseph,  81,  85. 
Ho  wick,  Lord,  see  Grey,  second 

Hudson  Bay  Company,  183  note, 


Hume,  Joseph,  73,  76,  104. 
Hungary,  Language  Question  in, 

Huskisson,  19,  53,  55,  57. 

Imperial  Advisers,  142-5,  147. 

Imperial  Government,  27,  41,  44, 
46,  47,  58,  59,  60,  61,  63,  68, 
104,  142,  143,  144,  148,  149, 
162, 166, 174, 178, 179, 184, 185, 
187,  195,  207,  219,  220,  221. 
223-5,  232,  233,  234,  236,  240, 
243, 245,  249, 251, 252, 253,  255, 
260, 271, 274,  275, 276, 278,  279, 
280, 293,  295, 299,  300,  306  note, 

Indians,  245. 
Six  Nations,  175. 

Inventions,  Scientific,  14-17,  201, 
204-5, 208, 210,  304-5  and  note. 

Ireland  and  Irish,  88,  104,  190 
and  note,  192,  201,  230,  305 

Irish  in  Canada,  89,  245. 

Jalbert,  94. 

Jamaica,  23,  142  note,  140. 
Jesuit  Estates,  see  Lands. 
Joseph  II,  134. 

Keefer,  T.  C.,  204  and  note. 
Kempt,  Sir  James,  57. 
Kent,  Duke  of,  254. 
King's  College,  Toronto,  246-7. 
King's  Posts,  183  and  note. 
King's  Wharves,  183  note,  184. 
Kingston,  207,  213,  220,  247. 

Lachine  Canal,  see  Canals. 

Lambton,  see  Durham. 

Land  and  Emigration  Commis- 
sioners, 171,  179,  191,  196,  294 
note,  299,  300. 



Land  Registry  Office,  58. 
Lands : 

Clergy  Reserves,  4,  37,  56,  75, 

78,  152,  153, 162-5,  163  note, 

169,  170,  177,  209,  228,  238, 

245,  294-6. 
Companies,  61,  66,  67,  73,  169- 

Crown  Lands,  37,  40  note,  60, 


175, 182-4,  293,  299. 
in  British  North  America,  152, 

156,  158,  171,  174  and  note, 

177-9,  264. 
in  United  States,  264. 
Jesuit  Estates,  5, 56, 153, 165-7, 

183  and  note,  232,  236,  238, 


Militia  Claims,  4, 153,  173-5. 
Public,  4,  108  note,  115,  120- 

1,    123,    149,     150,    152-88, 

262,  264,    285,    293-4,    294 

Tax,  176,  178,  187. 

Tenure,  56,  66,  67,  71,  152,  153, 
159-62,  168  and  note,  171, 
174,  279 ;  see  also  Seigniories. 

See  also  Buller,  Charles. 
Language,  133-6,  289,  308  note. 
Laurier,  Sir  Wilfrid,  118,  240. 
Laval,  Bishop,  242. 
Laval  University,  242  note. 
Law  and  Justice,  123-4,  223-31, 

263,  292. 

Appeals,  Judicial,  230-1,  249. 
Chief  Justices,  36,  59,  225,  226. 
Civil  Law,  28-9,  223-4. 
Courts  of  Law,  223. 
Criminal  Law,  223. 
Judges,  37,  38,  56,  57,  59,  61, 

66,  82,  149,  150,  225-6,  231, 

292,  293. 

Juries,  223,  224,  229-30. 
Magistrates,  223,  228-9. 
'  Leaders  and  Associates,'  160. 
Legislative  Council,  see  Councils. 
Legislatures,  33-4,  179,  219. 
Federal,  113,  251-5. 
Lower  Canada,  32,  47,  51,  52, 

57,  60,  64,  69,  72-4,  88,  113, 

166, 172, 183, 185-7, 194, 206, 

209,  224,  228,  248. 
Newfoundland,  88. 
United,  148-50,  152  and  note, 

187,   217,   249,    288,   291-3, 
294  note,  296,  299-301. 
Upper  Canada,  54,  60,  80,  113, 

245,  246,  276,  295. 
Relations  with  Executives,  see 


And  see  Assembly  and  Councils. 
Lewis,  Sir  George  Cornewall, 
15,  134,  140  note,  145,  180- 
1,  181  note,  268-70,  286,  306 

Liverpool,  Lord,  52,  266. 
Local  Government,  4,   123,   149, 
152  and  note,  159,  195  note, 
210-22,  264,  296-9. 
in  United  States,  264-5. 
Lods  et  Ventes,  184. 
London  (Canada),  213. 
Louisiana,  131,  264,  283. 
Lount,  80,  98,  99. 
Loyalists,  89,  90,  91,  93,  95,  98, 

159,  245,  259-61. 

Loyalists,  United  Empire,  37,  54, 
159,  174. 

Macdonell,  Bishop,  4,  245. 

McGill,  James,  244. 

McGill  University,  243-4. 

Mackenzie,  William  Lyon,  55,  75, 
76,  80,  81,  96-9,  214. 

Mackintosh,  Sir  James,  7,  45. 

MacNab,  Colonel,  98. 

Maine,  202,  256,  257. 

Maitland,  Sir  Peregrine,  53-5,  85, 

Malthus,  192. 

Maritime  Provinces,  81,  115,  204, 
249,  250,  258,  291,  and  see 
separately  New  Brunswick,  &c. 

Matthews,  99. 

Melbourne,  Lord,  14,  17,  19,  20, 
62,  64,  102,  110,  123,  214,  288. 

Merivale,  Lectures  on  Coloniza- 
tion, 152  note,  157,  219  note, 
298  and  note  3. 

Militia  and  Militia  Laws,  51-2, 
150,  212. 

Militia  Land  Claims,  see  Land. 

Ministers  of  Crown,  see  Imperial 

Molesworth,  Sir  William,  2,  12,  21, 
22,  73,  101,  157  note  2,  157-8, 
181,  267-8,  268  note  2,  270, 
273,  274. 



Monarchy,  hereditary,  141. 

Money  Votes,  initiation  of,  149, 
292,  297. 

Montreal,  15,  34,  61,  63,  67,  71, 
78,  88-96,  153,  162,  167,  168, 
194  note  2,  195,  203,  205,  206, 
207,  212,  242  and  note,  243, 

Montreal  district,  100,  248. 

Montreal,  Constitutional  Associa- 
tion of,  4,  63,  128. 

Morley,  Lord,  quoted,  135-6  note. 

Morrison,  Dr.,  97. 

Municipalities,  see  Local  Govern- 

Murray,  General  James,  28,  223. 

Murray,  Sir  George,  55,  57,  58. 

Nationality,    Canada    a    Nation, 

Anglifying   of   Lower   Canada, 

&c.,  27,  35,  46,  61, 116,  121, 122, 

125-33,    161-2,    202,    215-16, 

233-4, 236, 253, 261,  266,  281-4, 

286-7,  310-13. 
Native  Questions,  136, 146,  274-5, 


Navy  Island,  99. 
Neilson,  John,  47. 
Nelson,  Dr.  Wolfred,  74,  89,  90-4, 

95,  97,  128. 

Nelson,  Robert,  89,  90,  128. 
Neptune,  the,  13. 

New  Brunswick,  30,  71,  72,  81-5, 
90,  106,  107,  114,  204,  262, 
291  note,  294  note. 

Civil  List,  83. 

Crown  Revenues,  control  of,  83. 

Deputation  to  England,  82-3. 

Responsible  Government,  83. 
New  France,  24-6. 
New  South  Wales,  12,  65. 
New  York,  78,  209,  258,  264,  265, 


New  Zealand,  14,  146,  156,  291. 
New  Zealand  Association,  14. 
New  Zealand  Land  Company,  14, 


Newfoundland,  65,  86-8,  106,  107, 
108  and  note,  113,  114,  115, 
154,  171,  250,  291  and  note, 
294  note. 

Fisheries,  86. 

Religious  troubles,  87-8. 
Niagara,  96,  99,  207,  213,  263. 

North- West,  200,  202,  208,  210, 

256,  263. 
Nova  Scotia,  4,  16,  57,  81,  83-6, 

90,  106,  107,   114,  204,  222, 
257,  262,  265,  291  note,  294 

Constitution,  84. 
Representative  Institutions,  81. 
Revenue  Control,  84. 

O'Callaghan,  Dr.,  89,  94. 
O'Connell,  73,  74,  104. 
Ottawa,  16,  207. 

Palmerston,  Lord,  19. 
Papineau,  Louis,  38,  42,  43,  47, 
49,  52,  54,  69,  70,  74,  77,  88- 

91,  94,  96-7,  128,  133. 
Eulogy  of  British  rule,  41. 

Parliament,  Canadian,   118,  231, 

290,  293. 
Parliament,  Imperial,  see  Imperial 

Parliamentary      Executive,      see 


Parliamentary  Reform,  17. 
Parsonages,  163. 
'  Patriots,'  89,  97. 
Patronage,     Crown,     see    Crown 

Peace  of  Paris,  27. 
Peel,  Sir  Robert,  12,  19,  62,  65, 

99,  112. 

Peninsular    and    Oriental    Com- 
pany, 16. 

Petition  of  Rights,  62. 
Pitt,  William,  31. 
Police  Forces,  212. 
Poor  Law  Reform,  18. 
Presbyterians,  see  Clergy. 
Prevost,  Sir  George,  36,  206. 
Prince  Edward  Island,  85-6,  106, 
107,  114. 

lands,  86. 
Proclamation  of  1763,  28,  29,  159, 

174  223 
Protestants,   160,   163,   164,  239, 

242-3,  245-6,  andsee  Cler<ry  a>»! 

Church  of  England,  &c. 
Public  Lands,  see  Lands. 
Public  Works,  118,  178,  208,  209, 


Quarantine,  194,  195. 



Quarter  Sessions,  223. 

Quebec,  16,  30,  34,  36,  63,  65,  89, 
90,  100,  183  note,  190,  194  and 
note  2,  195,  201,  210,  212,  214, 
242  and  note,  243,  282. 

Quebec  Act,  see  under  Acts. 

Quebec,  Province,  26,  29,  31,  120, 
151,  159,  220,  278,  283,  284.  298 
note  2,  301. 

Quebec  Assembly,  see  Assembly, 
Lower  Canada. 

Quebec  Emigrants'  Society,  194. 

Queen's  College,  247. 

Race   animosity,    &c.,   33-7,   46, 

126-31,  229,  240,  279-84. 
Radenhurst,  John,  170. 
Railways,  8,  14-15,  178,  198-201, 

Canadian  Northern,  200. 

Canadian  Pacific,  15,  199,  200, 

Grand  Trunk,  200. 

in  United  States,  265. 

Intercolonial,  200,  201,  204. 

La  Prairie  to  St.  John's,  14-15, 

Stockton  to  Darlington,  14. 
Rebellion,  24,  40,  80,  88-99,  101, 

in  Lower  Canada,  38,  40,  88-96, 
128, 258. 

in  Upper  Canada,  80,  96-9,  258. 

reasons  for,  103-5. 
Receiver-General  of  Canada,  de- 
falcations of,  43. 
Rectories,  78,  163,  164. 
Reform  in  England,  17-18, 42, 58, 

76, 129. 

Regiopolis,  247. 
Reid,  Stuart,  3. 
Religion,  33,  87-8,  133,  239-40, 

245,  279,  &c.     See  also  Clergy, 


Rents  and  Dues,  40,  183-4. 
Representative   Institutions,    1 1 , 

23,  34,  81,  138,  216,  217,  277, 

304,  310. 

Republics  and  Republican  Institu- 
tions, 139  and  note,  154,  254. 
Reserves,  Clergy,  see  Lands. 
Reserves,  Crown,  see  Lands. 
Responsible  Government,  5,  7, 11, 
22,   77,   81,   83,    88,    123-6, 

130-1,  137-52,  155,  181,  182, 
187,  198,  218,  254-5,  261, 
265-6,  273,  277,  289-91,  304, 
310-15,  &c. 

arguments  for,  121-2, 137-8,  &c. 

definition  of,  137-8,  147-8. 

Durham's    recommendations, 

objections  to,  142-6,  313. 
Revenues,  see  Finances. 
Revenues,     Crown,     see     Crown 


Richards,  John,  174,  188. 
Richelieu,  River,  74,  88,  89,  90,  91, 

92,  93,  94,  207. 

Richmond,  Duke  of,  39,  42,  53. 
Ripon,  Earl  of,  see  Goderich. 
Rideau  Canal,  see  Canals. 
Ridout,  80,  81. 
Roads,  178,  198,  210,  211,  220. 

in  United  States,  265. 
Robinson,  Peter,  192. 
Robinson,  Sir  John  Beverley,  46, 

54,  75. 

Life  of,  126  note,  226. 
Roebuck,  John  Arthur,  62,  71,  73, 

102-3,  104,  248. 
Rolph,  Dr.,  55,  79,  97,  98. 
Roman  Catholics,  88,   164,  239, 

243,    245,   247,    &e.,    and   see 

Romans,    135-6   note,   222,   269, 

274,  307-9. 
Royal    Commission    (Lord    Gos- 

ford's)   to   Lower  Canada,  64- 

72,  74,  167-8,  185  note,  232-3, 

235,  237. 

Royal  William,  the,  16  and  note. 
Russell,  Peter,  245,  246. 
Russell,  Lord  John,  5,  12,  19,  72- 

4, 101, 102, 110, 112, 143-5, 147, 

168  note,  175, 196, 213, 218, 288, 

289,  290,  294  note,  297,  299. 

St.  Benoit,  96. 

St.  Charles,  90,  92,  94. 

St.  Denis,  90,  91,  92,  93,  94,  95. 

St.  Eustache,  95. 

St.  John's,  91,  95,  207. 

St.  Lawrence,  14-15,  88,  90,  91, 
92,  159,  183  note,  201,  202-4, 
206-9, 258, 263,  278,  283. 

St.  Maurice  Forges,  183  note,  184. 

St.  Sulpice,  see  Sulpicians. 



Scotch  Church,  see  Clergy,  Pres- 
Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies, 

see  Colonial  Office. 
Seigniories,  28,  67,  71,  128,  152, 

159,  161,  165,  167-8,  183  note, 


Sewell,  Jonathan,  225,  254. 
Sherbrooke,  Sir  John,  37-9, 43,  53, 


Simcoe,  33,  244,  246. 
/Sft'r  Robert  Peel,  the,  258. 
Slavery,  abolition  of,  10-11,  12, 

-  13,  18,  22. 

in  United  States,  257. 
Smith,  Chief  Justice,  254  and  note, 

255,  284. 

Sorel,  89,  90,  92,  93,  94. 
'  Sons   of   Liberty,'    see   Fils   de 

South  Africa,  13,  135  and  note, 

136,  280,  283,  309,  311. 
South  Australia,  13,  14,  156,  158. 
Stanley,  Lord,  19,  62, 137,  171. 
Steamships,  15-16,  201,  208,  305 


Spring  Rice,  62,  63,  85,  87. 
Stephen,    Sir   James,    10,    20-2, 


Strachan,  Dr.,  46,  54,  164-5,  246. 
Stuart,  James,  36,  38,  47,  49,  61, 


Submarine  cables,  16. 
Sulpicians,  67,  71,  153,  162,  165, 

167-8,  242  and  note. 
Sydenham,   Lord,   see  Thomson, 


Talon,  174. 

Tasmania,  12, 100. 

Taylor,  Sir  Henry,  20  and  note, 


Telegraphs,  8,  15,  16. 
Texas,  257,  259. 
Theller,  99-100. 
Thomson,  Poulett,  144,  168  note, 

175,  213,  218,  289-90,  294,  295- 

Three    Rivers   Town    Fiefs,    183 


Timber  licences,  178,  184. 
Titles  of  Honour,  227,  291. 
Tories,  7,  14,  19,  42,  65,  247. 
Toronto,  76,  78,  79,  81,  90,  96-8, 

137,    165,    170,    171,   213   and 

note,  244. 
Toronto    University,    see    King's 

College,  Toronto. 
Townships,    128,    152,    160,   221, 

Townships,  Eastern,  46,  58,  61, 

89,  93,  159-60,  169,  171,  172, 


Trade,  Board  of,  300. 
Transportation,  11-13,  158. 
Trinity  College,  Toronto,  247. 
Turton,  153. 
Two  Mountains  County,  88,  95. 

United     Empire     Loyalists,     ate 

United  States : 
(i)  References  to,  22,  80,  91,  U3, 

94,  97,  98,  99,  104,  113,  121, 

122,  124,  125,  153,  154,  177, 

178,  216,  252,  257-66,  278, 

303,  310. 
(ii)  Institutions,  54,  62,  140-1, 

142  note,  215,  265. 
(iii)  Causes  of  Prosperity,  139, 

154,  265. 
(iv)  Comparison  with  Canada, 

139,  201-2,  262-6. 
(v)  Frontier  of,  88,  93,  96,  99, 

159,  203,  256-9,  278. 
Upper  Canada  College,  75,  245. 

Van  Buren,  President,  257,  258. 
Van  Diemen's  Land,  see  Tasmania. 
Van  Egmont,  98-9. 
Vancouver,  16,  205. 
Victoria,    Queen,   10-19,   74,   88, 

100,  185,  254,  292. 
Victoria  College,  247. 
Vindicator,  the,  89,  91. 

Wakefield,  Gibbon,  3-4,  14,  153, 

155-8, 175,  178, 180, 181-2, 189, 

197,  294. 
War  of  American  Independence, 

30,  104,  174,  206,  259. 
War  of  1812,  34,  36,  37,  90,  97, 

173,  174,  178,  203,  206,  278. 
Waterways,  Canadian,  205-8. 
Weavers,  distress  among,  192-3. 
Webster,  Daniel,  99. 
Weir,  Lieutenant,  94. 



Welland  Canal,  see  Canals. 
Wellington,  Duke  of,  17,  19,  55, 


Wesleyans,  78,  247. 
Western  Australia,  12. 
West    Indies,    11-13,    158,    178, 


Wetherall,  Colonel,  92,  93. 
Whateley,  Archbishop,  11. 

123,  129,  131,   151,  214,   219, 


William  Henry,  see  Sorel. 
William  IV,  40,  65,  74,  88,  185. 
Wilmot,  Lemuel,  83. 
Wilmot,  or  Wilmot  Horton,  44. 
Wodehouse,  Sir  Philip,  146. 

York,  see  Toronto. 

Whigs,  17-20,  65,  78,  104, 111-13,      Young,  William,  4,  258,  265. 


•  „.  -,  C 

neturn  this  material  to  the  library 
from  which  It  was  borrowed. 

JUN  0997   (? 
DEC  18 '97    REC( 



3  1970  00489 


A    000  623  842     2